Experts, researchers and members of NGO networks on Sunday emphasized localization of supports and urged the government for an inclusive coordination mechanism between local, national and international local and national NGOs to fight the virus.
A virtual conference titled “NGOs in Corona Response in Bangladesh” was held which was jointly organized by NGO networks including BDCSO Process, CCNF (Cox’s Bazar CSO NGO Forum) Disaster Forum including others, said a press release.
NAHAB (National Alliance for Humanitarian Actors in Bangladesh) and NIRAPAD (Network for Information, Response and Preparedness Activities on Disaster) along with ADAB (Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh) and FNB (Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh) also was participant organisers.
Dr Ehsanur Rahman of NAHAB, Nayeem Gowhar Wahra of Disaster Forum, Abu Morshed Chowdhury and Bimol Sarkar of CCNF, Hasina Akhter Mita of NIRAPAD, Jashim Uddin of ADAB and Rafiqul Islam of FNB among others spoke in the programme.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of BDCSO moderated the virtual function while Abdul Latif Khan of NAHAB presented the study findings.
They informed that NGOs have given an account of reaching 14.8 million beneficiaries until May 25 in responding to the coronavirus crisis.
Abdul Latif Khan in his presentation said NGOs have spent Tk 1.56 billion, of which 10 percent (Tk 156 million) is from their own resource, mainly by the local NGOs as the first responder.
Among them, 56 percent are non-micro finance NGOs and the rest are rights-based NGOs, Abdul Latif said to me later, adding that they provided support in 49 districts of 8 divisions through 212 national and local NGOs.
However, most of the support covered in Rangpur, Rajshahi, Chottogram, Khulna and Dhaka division while major NGOs concentration was seen for Khulna division.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of BDCSO process said, it is necessary to highlight local and national NGOs as the first responders even without donor support initially.
Dr Ehsanur of NAHAB said, “Since the NGO response at local level is a continuous process, we shall keep updating on their efforts.”
Nayeem Wahra of Disaster Forum urged for strong coordination between local government and NGOs especially at the district level with a long term planning, which requires coordination space for NGOs.
Abu Morshed Chowdhury of CCNF said donors should directly the local and national NGOs for implementing the key role of INGOs and UN agencies should be monitoring and technical assistance.
Hasina Akhter Mita of NIRAPAD said that NGOs are best-placed to reach remote areas and marginalized populations.
Bimol Dey Sarker of CCNF explained how local NGOs in Cox’s Bazar contributed with their own funding for Rohihingyas and host community.
Jashim Uddin of ADAB said, the government must understand the benefit of the involvement of NGOs while the budget should reflect the plan of public health.
Rafiqul Islam of FNB said government should not go alone in this case while health sector should be given the highest priority.