Signify and BRAC light the lives of over 46,000 Rohingya families in Bangladesh

Report
from BRAC
Published on 06 Aug 2018

Eindhoven, the Netherlands – Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, and BRAC, one of the world’s leading non-governmental organizations, are distributing Philips LifeLight solar lanterns to more than 46,000 Rohingya families in Bangladesh. The solar lanterns will significantly improve the living conditions in the refugees’ makeshift shelters and especially improve the safety and security of women and children at night. So far, they have distributed solar lanterns for 22,495 Rohingya families, reaching 132,720 individuals, of which 66,360 are children.

“Lighting is a key enabler to create safer spaces. Especially in refugee camps where women and children are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, lighting can make a real difference. Our continued collaboration with BRAC leverages the strengths and resources of both organizations to deliver interventions like these,” said Prajna Khanna, Director at the Signify Foundation.

Previously the camps have been pitch black at night, making basic activities almost impossible. On top of that there were immediate concerns about the safety and security of women and children, in their shelters, moving around the camps and going to the toilet at night. The shelters desperately needed lighting to increase security and support their basic needs.

“These clean solar powered lights will make the camps a much safer place at night, and are, therefore, making a much-needed contribution to the lives of people who are spending days in unimaginable difficulties. We hope this partnership with an organization like Signify will be another step towards making lasting impact,” said Asif Saleh, Senior Director, Strategy, Communication and Empowerment at BRAC and BRAC International.

“At Signify, our ambition is to create safer spaces for communities. We are honored that we’re able to support this noble cause by donating our solar-powered LifeLight Lanterns to Rohingya families living in Cox’s Bazar,” said Padmanava Gupta, Managing Director at Signify’s operations in Bangladesh.

BRAC will distribute the solar lamps through its network of offices, seed and agricultural staff and community health workers. It will provide detailed training on care and maintenance and how to get replacements under warranty. Each lamp will be accompanied by an instruction and information sheet in the Rakhine language and script. BRAC will also work with local solar companies and local companies in the Cox’s Bazar area to install and maintain the LifeLight Home systems. These companies will be trained on the specific Philips-branded products and will provide technical support.

Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018. The legal name of Signify will be adapted in Bangladesh in the beginning of 2019.

The Rohingya Crisis
Since August 2017, 680,000 forcibly-displaced Rohingya people have been sheltering in makeshift settlements across Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. The new arrivals are vulnerable, and include pregnant and nursing mothers, and children separated from their families. Existing basic services for refugees and host communities have been overwhelmed due to the sudden and massive increase in population. BRAC was one of the earliest responders on the ground, working together with the Government of Bangladesh, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNHCR and other stakeholders.

END

For further information, please contact:

Signify Communications South Asia
Natasha Tandon
E-mail: natasha.tandon@signify.com

BRAC UK
Chris Lyne
E-mail: chris@bracuk.net

About BRAC
BRAC was founded in Bangladesh in 1972 by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, and today is a global leader in developing cost-effective, evidence-based poverty innovations in extremely poor, conflict-prone and post-disaster settings. These include programmes in education, healthcare, microfinance, girls’ empowerment, agriculture, human and legal rights, social enterprises, a bank, a university, and the world’s largest mobile money platform. In 2016, BRAC employed more than 100,000 people in 11 countries, with a total global expenditure of about $900 million.

BRAC is also unique among the world’s major non-profits in that its overall budget is majority self-financed.

In April 2018 BRAC was ranked as the number one NGO in the world for the third consecutive year by the Geneva-based NGO Advisor, an independent media organisation committed to highlighting innovation, impact and governance in the non-profit sector.

About Signify
Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2017 sales of EUR 7.0 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries, we unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter and LinkedIn. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.