The Harrison Fund for UNICEF significantly works for the effective realization of The United Nations Children’s Fund programs in Asian countries, designed to help the children littered with natural and manmade disasters and facing the irregular internal movement. The fund was established in late 2005 from the advantages collected from the live album and film supported the Concert for Bangladesh. Bangladesh, an Asian nation, is the initial focus of the world-famous funding. It additionally conveys humanitarian help to the war or natural cataclysm or impoverishment affected children in Brazil, India, Angola, Romania, the Horn of Africa, Myanmar, and Nepal.

The Harrison family and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund USA together formulated to support UNICEF programs that have humanitarian help to youngsters, as well as emergency relief, education, health, nutrition, and food security. On thirteenth October 2009, Pandit Ravi Shankar was awarded the George Harrison Humanitarian Award for the first time. Caryl Stern, President, and CEO, U.S. Find for UNICEF said on the occasion, “Every day 24,000 children die of preventable causes. We are pleased to honor Ravi Shankar with the George Harrison Humanitarian Award for his commitment to reducing that number and believing in zero.”

Historical Background

George Harrison Fund holds a prideful historical context. The fund was first established to assist the Bengali refugees in 1971 United Nations agency took refuge in India. 1971 warfare and race murder within the then East Pakistan in conjunction with the havoc caused by the 1970 Bhola storm and cyclone compelled the Bangalis to adopt refugeehood in their neighboring country. Throughout natural and human-made disasters, the lifetime of the individuals of the Asian nation was in great uncertainty and insecurity. The West Pakistani rulers failed to assist Bangalis instead got engaged in an exceedingly warfare with the distressed population and commenced violent genocide in 1971. Within the neighboring country, matters of the ten million refugees evolved terribly. Epidemic cholera, diarrhea, and symptoms were epidemics, and also the high morbidity rate among the bulk portion, women and children, food and water insecurity, lack of medical aid altogether created the refugees’ survival more challenged. 

The awfulness of the sufferings of the Bangali nation stirred the center of Pandit Ravi Shankar who was born in the Norail area of Bengal. Then he was in Britain and mentioned the matter together with his friend George Harrison. George Harrison and Ravi Shankar organized two concerts on 1st August 1971 at the Madison Square Garden, New York named the ‘Concert for Bangladesh’. Not only 40,000 audiences of the concerts however additionally the international community empathized once after came to grasp regarding the plights of the disaster-stricken and war-ravaged Bangalis. The plight of the Bangali individuals got worldwide support inside an evening. The ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ sent a cheque amounting to USD 243000 to UNICEF for the homeless refugees of East Bengal. This is the first formation of the George Harrison Fund was developed through the first rock altruistic performance within the history of music, school of thought, and humanitarianism. The concerts were traditionally connected to Bangladesh till the current. It is often one of the oldest humanitarian assistance programs functioning in Bangladesh and around the world. 

George Humanitarian Fund and International Humanitarian Activities 

The ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ was the place to begin George Harrison’s musical philanthropy. The concerts also pioneered several impactful musical live events for aiding global humanitarian activities. 

On the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ in 2011, members of the UNICEF family and Olivia Harrison visited Bangladesh to evaluate the programs funded by the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF. Throughout the visit, to line up schools and to facilitate alternative academic requirements of about 2000 youngsters in an exceedingly remote area of Bangladesh. The Kaptai Lake Region in the Rangamati Hill, the district was chosen as the location for the development project. UNICEF and the community pointed out several immediate requirements and approved to refurbish and renew several schools, train educators, engage the community and build and operate special shuttle boats to promote high attendance in the schools. The program provided 24 shuttle boats, sustainable technology, and built 14 schools. Over 42 teachers and local governmental representatives got training to make the school environment more comprehensive.

In 2011, on the 40th anniversary of the historical ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ UNICEF took a significant initiative named ‘Month of Giving’. The initiative raised more than USD 1million. The supporters of the music industry helped UNICEF to raise more than USD 1.225 million for the GH Fund. The quantity was used for the rescue emergency relief for children in the Horn of Africa. More than USD 175000 of the raised money came from the sale of the two historical concerts’ CD and DVD on iTunes. ‘Month of Giving’ website was visited by more than 100000 people worldwide. Varied international well-known artists like Selena Gomez promoted the initiative to require humanitarian actions for the refugees, destroyed and disaster-stricken peoples, particularly affected children around the world.

In 2012, famine was declared in six areas of the southern African country, Somalia. Internally Displacement became a large downside within the regions. The displaced persons were tragically terminated by famine. The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF organized effective emergency response. About ten thousand metric tonnes of food was distributed to the areas. Somalis began to escape from their country, to guard themselves from the ravages of famine and took refuge in the neighboring countries, Kenya and Ethiopia. 

UNICEF estimated that 250000 people visaged severe hunger, and four million are in lack of life-saving assistance. Nearly one million children were given nutritional support, enclosing 126131 severely malnourished ones. 1.2 million children got the vaccination against measles by UNICEF and its parts. They confirmed safe drinking water for 2.2 million Somalis. 1.4 million starving people treated at UNICEF funded health centers. Sikander Khan, the UNICEF Representative in Somalia said, “Thanks to the strong support from donors around the world, thousands of children’s lives have been saved.” 

In 1990 George Harrison with his wife Olivia Harrison held a press conference to launch and publicize a humanitarian initiative, ‘Romanian Angel Appeal’ to assist the organs of Romania. The scheme was primarily organized by the wives of the singers of the Beatles. There were approximately 1,50,000 to 4,00,000 orphans whose living condition was highly alarming. The orphans were homeless and the situations of orphanages were extremely problematic. Private donations amounted to USD 2 million in England and it went to the Romanian undertaking. The fund raised was expended to improve the housing, clothing, medical facilities, security of food, and sanitation and to provide them with professional staff for proper nurturing.

The GH Fund has been working to assist climate refugees. The 2016 Hurricane Matthew made Haitians get a large scale of donations to perform UNICEF’s programs. Bangladesh witnessed Cyclone Sidr in 2007. On December 3, 2007, the GH Fund for UNICEF declared a USD 450000 donation for relief and recovery undertakings for the cyclone-affected Bangladeshi population. They functioned according to the scheme of immediate relief and longer-term recovery interventions. The immediate action budget was estimated at USD 30 million. The fund effectively played a key role in managing climate refugees of Bangladesh who were mostly internally displaced during such extreme natural calamities. 

About 8,00000 Rohingya population forcefully displaced from Myanmar in 2017, and Bangladesh sheltered them. The plight of Rohingyas grew worldwide attention while the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF also came forward. Primarily it contributed USD 100000 to support the UNICEF programs to give to the displaced people. The immediate contribution helped to provide them clean and safe water, shelter, immunizations, and also psychological assistance. The GH Fund announced to give more USD 135000 in donations for Rohingyas which would help Bangladesh to manage the Rohingya refugee problem along with the other domestic ones. They announced the “1 share=$1 donated to help Rohingya refugee children” scheme. 


The Concert for Bangladesh bears a great humanitarian significance with a decent historical value. The world-famous artists, George Harrison, and Pandit Ravi Shankar along with their team will always hold an outstanding humanitarian place in the world of music and humanity. The continuation of the traditional humanitarian aid through the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF in Bangladesh will connect the country with the historic value of the concerts forever. The fund currently stands for every humanitarian crisis affecting world children. The GH fund along with UNICEF has been assisting IDPs, climate refugees forcefully displaced, and refugees globally.

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