The country's local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called on global NGOs and United Nations (UN) agencies – providing humanitarian support for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar – to ensure transparency in humanitarian efforts, driving out luxury from relief efforts, reads a press release.
They also urged UN agencies and global NGOs to limit their role to providing technical assistance only – handing over the responsibility of project implementation to local actors.
According to the release, BDCSO Process – a forum of around 700 national NGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs) – came up with the suggestions while placing its Declaration 2020 on Monday at a virtual press conference.
This 22-point demand declaration was adopted at the virtual annual conference held in October.
The declaration urged transparency in activities of all international humanitarian and development assistance programs.
The declaration published both in Bangla and English language is available on the BDCSO Process website.
The virtual press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, national Coordinator of the BDCSO Process and Executive Director of COAST Trust while ustafa Kamal Akhanda delivered the welcome speech.
BDCSO's different divisional and district level leaders – including Parveen Akhter from Pabna, Khandker Farooque Ahmed from Mymensingh, Akbar Hossain from Rangpur, Arifur Rahman from Chattogram, Asadazzaman Sheikh from Khulna, Sayeda Yesmin from Kurigram, Masuda Farukh Ratna from Dhaka, Tofazzel Sohel from Sylhet, Lalit Chakma from Rangamati, Sabrina Akhter from Lakshmipur, and Shuvankar Chokrobarty, Rahima Sultana Kazal plus Anwar Zahid from Barisal – addressed the press conference, describing different demands of the declaration and expressing solidarity with the declaration.
The conference, inaugurated by economist Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman, was also addressed by international guests Ignacio Packer from the International Council of Voluntary Organizations, Dr Hany El-Banna from the World Humanitarian Action Forum and Roberto Bissio from Social Watch.
From the national level Saheen Anam from Manusher Jonno Foundation and Shireen Haque from Naripokkha also spoke at the event along with network leaders: Jashim Uddin from the Association of Development Organisations in Bangladesh, Rafiqul Islam from the Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh, Morshed Sarker from the Credit and Development Forum, Abdul Awal from the Campaign for Good Governance (SUPRO), OXFAM Country Director Dr Dipankar Dutta, and Kazi Feisal from The Asia Foundation.
James Munn of the Norwegian Refugee Council, and Rajan Ghimerie of Malteser International also participated in the conference.
Arifur Rahman from Chattogram urged the global agencies to ensure full transparency in their funding process to make it free from conflict of interest.
Shuvankar Chakraborty from Barisal urged the government to adopt local accountability policy in distribution of international aid, like many countries – including Nepal, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Uganda – have done.
Asad from Khulna said that there should be technology and knowledge transfers to locals and expatriate appointments should not be supply-driven.
He also urged international agencies to keep their management costs limited to single digit.
Sayed Yesmin from Rangpur said that the donor agencies should give funding to local NGOs/CSOs with no intermediaries.
Masuda Faruque Ratna from Dhaka urged international agencies to adhere to aid transparency principles and realise the difference between luxury and necessity while spending money.
Tofazzal from Sylhet urged UN agencies to reinforce local civil society groups instead of replace them. "UN agencies should give much more emphasis to promoting human rights than fundraising and project implementation," he observed.