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Citizen's Platform for SDGs: NGOs and CSOs facing resource shortage in tackling Covid-19

  • Published at 10:15 pm July 8th, 2020
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Speakers during a virtual dialogue, titled 'Experiences from the current situation at the grassroots level: Achievements and challenges' Courtesy

The government should recognize the contribution of NGOs and CSOs at the grassroots level, says Dr Debapriya

Citizen’s Platform for SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), Bangladesh has said an estimated 68% of the civil society organizations (CSO) and non-government organizations (NGO) are having scarcity in providing safety equipment such as PPE for tackling Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

The platform also found that about 90% of the grassroots-level civil society organizations and non-government organizations are facing resource shortage. About 77% of them are facing various difficulties while operating on a limited scale while maintaining social distancing.

The survey "The role of grassroots-level CSOs in tackling Covid-19 pandemic" was conducted by the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), Bangladesh.

The findings of the survey were released at a virtual dialogue titled “Experiences from the current situation at the grassroots level: Achievements and challenges”, in the capital on Wednesday.

Local civil society and non-governmental development organizations need to be involved in formulating a national policy framework to overcome the multifaceted challenges of the ongoing crisis, said the platform. 

Speakers said CSOs and NGOs always play critical roles in the overall development of the country. However, there is a lack of adequate recognition at the government policymaking level for their contributions.

Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, convenor of the SDGs Platform said the grassroots-level CSOs and NGOs were not involved in government policies and procedures during this challenging time. They are playing a critical role in delivering sustainable development goals, particularly providing support to the marginalized communities.

"It is important that the government provides financial assistance and policy incentives for local CSOs and NGOs to tackle these uncertain times," he said.

Debapriya also said the contribution of NGOs and CSOs at the grassroots level has so far received little national recognition. Their contributions are not adequately published and disseminated through the media as well. This gap in information flow needs to be filled quickly.

Local civil society and non-governmental development organizations need to be involved in formulating a national policy framework to overcome the multifaceted challenges of the ongoing crisis, speakers say. 

Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar, country director of the Hunger Project-Bangladesh chaired the event.  

Swapan Kumar Guha, executive director of Rupantar in Khulna; Rahima Sultana Kazal, executive director of  Association of Voluntary Action for Society-AVAS in Barishal; Rasel Ahmed Liton, chief executive of SKS Foundation in Gaibandha; and Salima Sarwar, executive director of Association for Community Development (ACD) joined the event as discussants.

Professor Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow of CPD; Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE); and Asif Ibrahim, vice-chairman of New Age Group were also present at the event.

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