NGOs seek engagement in efforts to tackle Covid-19 crisis

20 April 2020

Staff Reporter :
Non-government organisations have called upon the government to engage them in tackling the crisis caused by the outbreak of coronavirus, which crated far-reaching impact on people's health and economy across the country.
NGOs that have their presence in the grassroots level and always work hand in hand with the government in disaster management should be incorporated in the activities for stronger coordination and greater reach, said leaders of different alliances of NGOs.
COAST Trust hosted a virtual press conference on Sunday, attended by the leaders of National Alliance of Humanitarian Actors, Bangladesh (NAHAB), Bangladesh CSO-NGO Coordination Process, Network for Information, Response and Preparedness Activities on Disaster (NIRAPA), Disaster Forum, Association of Development Agencies Bangladesh (ADAB) and Federation of NGOs Bangladesh (FNB).
"The season of flood, cyclone, and dengue is knocking at the door. If they are added to the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation will be grave. So, we need to be prepared," said ADAB Director AKM Jashim Uddin.
There are already many allegations of irregularities in distributing relief. If the actual target of people is not accounted for, the government's mission to save the have-nots may not be successful, he said.
"Food production is going to be a major important task. So, reaching incentives to the farmers and ensuring that they can harvest the Boro crop and then go for Aush is very important," he also said.
"The government should now activate the Disaster Management Act, involve the NGOs at national and grassroots for strong coordination and transparency," said Nurul Alam Masud, Chief Executive of Participatory Research and Action Network.
Citing the example of Kerala, Nayeem Gawher Wahra, Member Secretary of Disaster Forum, said the government could divide the geographical areas in some categories and allow certain level of economic activities in the green zone and food production to continue under certain mechanism.

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