Civil Society Urged Transparency and Shun Luxury in Foreign Humanitarian and Development Assistance

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Dhaka, 30th November 2020. BDCSO Process, a forum of around 700 national NGOs (Non-Government Organization) and CSOs (Civil Society Organization) has placed its declaration today from a virtual press conference.  This declaration was adopted in its virtual annual conference held in October which contains 22 demands. The declaration urges transparency of all international humanitarian and development assistance, BDCSO leaders have also urged international agencies to shun luxury in this regard. Leaders also urged all international agencies to limit their role in monitoring and technical assistance only and handover the project implementation to local actors.  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.  Mr. Mustafa Kamal Akhanda has given a welcome speech. Divisional leaders, Ms. Parveen Akhter from Pabna, Mr. Khandker Farooque Ahmed from Mymensing, Mr. Akbar Hossain from Rangpur, Mr. Arifur Rahman from Chottogram, Mr. Shuvankar Chokrobarty, Ms. Rahima Sultana Kazal, and Mr. Anwar Zahid from Barisal, Mr. Asadazzaman Sheikh from Khulna, Ms. Sayeda Yesmin from Kurigram, Ms. Masuda  Farukh Ratna from Dhaka, Ms. Tofazzel Sohel from Sylhet, Mr. Lalit Chkama from Rangmati and Ms. Sabrina Akhter from Lakshmipur described different demands of the declaration and expressed solidarity.

Mr. Akbar from Rangpur said that in the virtual conference of 6,8 and 10 October, there were around 700 participants in total, and each day around 350 activists participated. The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman. Guests from the international level such as Mr. Ignacio Packer from ICVA, Dr. Hany Al Banna from WHAF, and Mr. Roberto Bissio from Social Watch also spoke at the occasion. From the national level Ms. Saheen Anam from MJF and Ms. Shireen Haque from Naripokkha also spoke at the event along with network leaders from ADAB Mr. Jashim Uddin, FNB Mr. Rafiqul Islam, CDF Mr. Morshed Sarker, and SUPRO Mr. Abdul Awal. Dr. Dipankar Dutta Country Director of Oxfam, Mr. Kazi Feisal of The Asia Foundation, Dr. James Munn of Norwegian Refugee Council, and Mr. Rajan Ghimerie of Malteser International also took participated in the conference. 

Mr. Arifur Rahman from Chottogram said that all international agencies must use the Bangla language in the country. He also urged agencies to ensure full transparency of their funding process and to make these free from conflict of interest. Mr. Shuvankar Chakraborty from Barisal urged the government to adopt localization policy and local accountability of international aid like Nepal, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Uganda. Mr. Asad from Khulna said that there should be technology and knowledge transfer to locals and expatriate appointment should not be supply-driven. He also urged international agencies to keep their management cost limited to a single digit. Ms. Sayed Yesmin from Rangpur said that the donor agencies should reconsider the due diligence and to give funding to local NGOs/CSOs with no intermediaries. Ms. Masuda Faruque Ratna from Dhaka urged international agencies to adhere to aid transparency principles, she also urged them to examine what is luxury and necessity in their expenditure culture. Mr. Tofazzal from Sylhet urged UN agencies to reinforce local civil societies rather than replacing them, UN agencies should give much more emphasis to promoting human rights rather than fundraising and project implementation.

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