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Brac praised for returning fund from multinational tobacco company

  • Published at 04:47 pm August 1st, 2019
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The other recipient of such fund is Child Sight Foundation

Leading an anti-tobacco campaign, Progga, has praised the recent measures taken by the largest non-government organization (NGO) of Bangladesh, Brac, for returning funds received from multinational tobacco company.

Brac returned the fund worth US$64,115 they received from Foundation for Smoke-Free World (FSFW).  FSFW is an organization established and supported by Philip Morris International (PMI).

The website tobaccotactics.org revealed Brac returned the funds in July this year. 

Progga's Coordinator, Hasan Shahriar, said: "The moral stand taken by Brac in this regard will go a long way in building a tobacco-free country as propounded by the government of Bangladesh, taking apart from being a partner of tobacco industries and de-normalizing them." 

"FSFW is serving the cause and purposes of Philip Morris International (PMI)," he added. 

Hasan said: "This is in fact a praiseworthy decision to return FSFW's fund knowing that it is, in essence, an offshoot of tobacco industry." 

"With the decision to part ways with FSFW, Brac has once again strengthened its trustworthiness and established a glorious example which is to be followed in the coming days," he added. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) made a statement in September, 2017, saying PMI will support the new Foundation for a Smoke-Free World from September 13, 2017 and contribute approximately US$80 million annually, over the next 12 years.

WHO said they do not engage with the tobacco industry or any non-state actors that work for the interest of the tobacco industry, the organization will therefore not be engaged with this foundation.

Hasan said Progga hopes this experience will persuade Brac to adopt a policy of no-collaboration with the tobacco industry to prevent recurrence of such situation in the future.

The other recipient

Progga calls upon the other recipient of the FSFW fund in Bangladesh to follow the same footsteps, which Brac has pioneered in returning the fund. 

The other partner of FSFW in Bangladesh is Child Sight Foundation which received US$92,620, according to the records in tobaccotactics.org, for their research on “harm reduction amongst slum dwellers”. 

Progga suspected Philip Morris funded foundation is giving money for research among the poor so that Philip Morris can push its new products in Bangladesh. 

“We hope the other recipient will also reject this harmful partnership with the foundation and its funder,” Hasan added.

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