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NGOs Displayed Integrity in COVID-19 Response, but Faced Funding Crisis and Political Meddling: Finds TIB Study

Dhaka, 13 January 2021: The Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) actively participated in humanitarian responses amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country while dealing with funding crisis issues and political interference and other challenges, a recent study by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) finds. 

To resolve the funding problem in an emergency like the pandemic, the TIB study suggested a 10-point recommendation stressing the government and donor agencies' forming of two separate funds.

The study titled “The Role of Non-government Organisations in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Way Forward" was launched on January 13, 2021, through a virtual press conference.

The study was conducted on 74 NGOs (09 international, 23 national, and 42 local) operating across the country between July 2020 and December 2021.

About 66.2 percent of the organisations participating in the study faced obstacles or challenges at the field level in undertaking and implementing the programmes, said the report. The challenges included raising funds for COVID-19 response, selecting beneficiaries, reaching remote areas, and meddling of local politics and administrations.

Speaking at the conference, TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, “Despite the multiple challenges, especially in raising funds, non-government organisations played an active role in COVID-19 response in the country. Although there were allegations of some irregularities, no significant information was found on the overall number of illegal financial transactions.”

Depicting the funding challenges of the NGOs amid the pandemic, he urged the government and the donor agencies to form two separate funds so that no NGOs fall short in funds while responding to any emergency needs like the pandemic.

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