Sir Hazan Abed founded BRAC in 1972, for the purpose of providing a rehabilitation program to the refugees of the Bangladesh liberation war that culminated in 1971. The rehabilitation program had successfully built new dwellings, new ships for fishermen, and new health care services.
Abed was heavily influenced by the Bangladesh cyclone of 1970 and his experience at shell Oil Company. As soon as he finished his degree on naval agriculture, he started working in Shell Oil Company, a large conglomerate based in Texas that provide oils, fuels and petroleum to customers and other industries. Although Shell Oil Company was recently criticized for violating the Clear Air Act several times during their operation, Abed had a invaluable experience of working as a head of finance in such a huge conglomerate. However, after he encountered the liberation war and the cyclone that swept Bangladesh in 1970, he decided to help his home country. During the course of the war, Abed was able to derive lots of support from European companies and governments through lobbying. Based on this, he founded BRAC to give refugees of a war and a cyclone a short-term alternative.