Did you know… there are over a hundred NGOs in Bangladesh?
Did you also know… nearly one in three people in Bangladesh live in poverty?
Well, even though that might sounds a bit too assumptive, it does not still quite override the debate of how many non-government organizations actually do exist in the South Asian country—Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has been plagued with various human and civil-related issues since the declaration of Independence in 1971. This, as a result, has led to an exponential increase in human and civil rights violations in most parts of the country.
The past few decades had seen the rights of the population been frequently infringed. Insecurity, on the other hand, has worsened the problem even more, as people will—more often than not—have to flee to the neighboring villages and towns to seek refuge when disaster strikes.
Also Read: List of Top 10 NGOs in the Philippines
Apart from the usual crisis that often finds its way to every nook and cranny of the country; poverty, human rights abuses, enforced disappearance, and many other terrible situations have almost completely ripped the country apart.
It is unfortunate to see one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and one of the fastest-growing middle-income countries into an obvious economic and humanitarian disaster.
However, in order to bring a long-term solution to these problems, non-governmental organizations have stepped in—in their hundreds—to see what solution they can proffer to restore the country’s dignity.
Over the past couple of decades, the country has seen a rapid increase in humanitarian aid and activism, as well as a wide range of not-for-profit establishments in nearly all parts of the country.
In Bangladesh, various NGOs are operating in almost every city and town, including two of the country’s largest cities Dhaka and Chittagong. These organizations are known to be quite active in the areas of human rights activism, creating public awareness, and the realization of social and environmental development.
That having been said, Bangladesh does not only accounts for a fair share of nonprofit organizations in Asia; however, it also houses a population whereby the poor outnumbered the rich; and people who suffer abuses are in their millions.
In this article, we are going to discuss the top 10 NGOs in Bangladesh. And for clarity, this will include the leading local and international non-governmental organizations in Bangladesh.
List of NGOs in Bangladesh
1. ActionAid Bangledesh
ActionAid is an international NGO serving approximately 11 areas in Bangladesh. Areas served by this NGO are Jessore, Satkhira, Khulna, Patuakhali, Dinajpur, Naogaon, Jamalpur, Sunamgonj, and Bandarban, including two of the country’s largest town, Dhaka and Chittagong.
Although ActionAid has established a presence in Bangladesh since 1972. The organization also serves other countries in Africa, Europe, the Americas, Australia, and the Middle East.
The purpose of this organization is to work with communities, through local partners, on a range of development issues, as well as promote human rights and reduce poverty.
In addition to assisting people that are in poverty, the organization also focuses on providing children with education; while also assisting those who face injustice and discrimination.
Also, tax and economic justice, climate rights, women’s rights, emergencies, and humanitarian aid are other areas of concern for the organization.
2. Building Resource Across Communities (BRAC)
|TELEPHONE||88 02 2222 81265|
Building Resources Across Communities, or BRAC, is an international non-government organization in Bangladesh. It is headquartered at BRAC Centre, 75 Mohakhali, Dhaka.
With over 100,000 staff working for the NGO, BRAC remains the world’s largest nonprofit organization and has reaches nearly 200 million people with its services.
BRAC is present in 11 other countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and all 64 districts of Bangladesh.
Since the past years, the organization has initiated a plethora of small-and large-scale relief and rehabilitation projects to help the victims of poverty and abuse.
However, to help improve the quality of livelihood across the country, BRAC is now concentrating on community development through various development programs that include health and family planning, fisheries, adult literacy, construction of community centers, and vocational training for women.
BRAC has been very successful in its mission over the past decades; achievements partly attributed to the various programs the organization provides to the people. This ranges from economic development, disaster relief, public health, and, most importantly, education.
In terms of education, BRAC is hugely involved in primary education in the country. Its education programs provide non-formal primary education to children left out of the formal education system.
3. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS)
|TELEPHONE||+88 02 48310188|
|AFFILIATION||The International Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement|
The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, abbreviated as BDRCS, is part of the world humanitarian NGO, The International Red Cross, and Red Crescent Movement.
The organization was established in 1973 and has its headquarters located on Red Crescent Sarak, Bara Maghbazar in Dhaka.
BDRCS has played a vital role in rehabilitation and relief during natural disasters, such as floods, and cyclone which often strikes various parts of the country.
That said, BDRCS was not established as an auxiliary to the Government of Bangladesh for no reason. It has indeed justified the purposes why it was formed.
In terms of joining the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society; there are multiple ways in which anyone could get involved in the organization. It includes membership, volunteering, partnership, training, and career opportunities.
|AFFILIATION||South Asia Network on Food, Ecology & Culture, Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN), Community Biodiversity Management (CBM), Coalition Against Bt. Brinjal, Bangladesh, Shasthya Andolon, TABINAJ (Anti-tobacco Alliance of Women)|
Policy Research for Development Alternatives often referred to as UBINIG, is a non-governmental organization situated in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. It was founded in 1984 with the aim of policy and action research. Since its inception, the organization has established nine learning centers across the country.
The organization seeks to train communities in environmental concerns, family planning, labor rights, and trade policies while pursuing its mission in the promotion of social rights and responsibilities, diversity, equality, and justice.
UBINIG kicks against the implementation of hybrid seed varieties in the region because of its cost-unfriendliness, and couple with additional needs for fertilizers.
In order to stick to its mission against all forms of predatory interventions destroying conditions of life; UBINIG is working to create a global community where people can live in peace.
5. Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP)
Center on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific, or CIRDAP, is an intergovernmental organization (IGO) with primary involvement in poverty alleviation and the development of rural areas.
CIRDAP was established in 1979 through the initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. And, like many organizations in the country, CIRDAP is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Despite receiving the majority of its support from several United Nation’s bodies and donors, it has also attracted supports from over fifteen members countries including, India, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Fiji, and Bangladesh—the host country.
International NGOs in Bangladesh
6. Habitat for Humanity Bangaladesh
|TELEPHONE||88 02 8832945|
|AFFILIATION||Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)|
Habitat for Humanity, an international non-governmental organization with its main headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, established its presence in the South Asian country—Bangladesh—in 1999. However, this was because of the increase of people and families heavily affected by poverty and homelessness.
Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh presently operates in seven project areas nationwide. These include Jamalpur (Municipality Area and Sadar Upazila), Pirojpur (Kaukhali Upazila), Mymensingh (City Corporation Area and Trishal Upazila), Dhaka (City Corporation Area), Satkhira (Sadar Upazila), Kurigram (Sadar, Chilmari, and Ulipur Upazila), and Patuakhali (Sadar Upazila).
These operations aim to lift families from poverty and break the cycle of poorly constructed homes and inadequate shelter.
To date, several thousands of families are directly benefiting from these massive projects.
7. USAID in Bangladesh
|TELEPHONE||+880 (2) 5566-2000|
USAID is not a non-governmental organization (NGO), per se. It is a government agency sponsored by the United States, even though its missions are similar to that of NGOs.
Established in 1971, USAID is one of many international NGOs in Bangladesh, with an office at Madani Avenue, Dhaka. The organization works for extreme poverty, women’s empowerment, education, health, and other issues.
In Bangladesh, USAID works in solving food crises. The organization makes it a priority for making good food accessible to people in the rural areas of the country in order to curtail the suffering for lack of nutrition.
In addition to providing good foods to people in the rural communities, it also provides technical support to Bangladeshi traders so as to make trade easier for them.
USAID is hugely involved in many sectors around Bangladesh, and its mission is to help those in need and break the circle of poverty in the country.
Top NGO in Bangladesh
8. National Children’s Task Force
|AFFILIATION||Save the Children, Plan International Bangladesh, Bangladesh Shishu Academy|
The National Children’s Task Force (NCTF) is a national not-for-profit organization for children. It was founded in 2003 and caters to children in all 64 districts in Bangladesh.
The NCTF organization was established solely to monitor children against any form of abuse, including trafficking and exploitation.
An organization that started primarily with an aim to monitor the implementation of the National Plan of Action has expanded to monitor other child rights issues.
NCTF works to address the issues of child abuse and also ensures that child rights are protected.
To be eligible for NCTF membership, children must be between the age of 12 and 18 years.
At NCTF, every child is given equal rights irrespective of gender and social background.
Over the past years, the organization has gained commendable support from the Bangladeshi government and other NGOs.
9. Friendship (NGO)
Friendship is a non-governmental organization that focuses on health, education, cultural preservation, sustainable economic development, disaster management, and infrastructure development.
Established in 2002, the organization employs well over 1,500 men and women. These include teachers at Friendship schools, staff in the floating hospitals, organizers, and supervisors working in Dhaka’s head office.
Despite having its headquarters situated in Dhaka, Friendship works mainly in the Char islands, the coastal belt in the south, and the riverbanks of northern Bangladesh.
Over the past years, Friendship has been actively supporting the northern river island communities in health, education, sustainability, and infrastructure development.
Friendship NGO is committed to saving lives, alleviating poverty, and empowering the people.
10. Bangladesh Association for Social Advancement (BASA)
|TELEPHONE||+88 02 9862464|
Bangladesh Association for Social Advancement often referred to as BASA, is a non-governmental, nonprofits, and non-political development organization based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Founded in 1991, it aims to empower men and women, including vulnerable people, and enhance their quality of life.
Since its establishment in the early 90s, BASA focuses primarily on capacity building through providing education and training. As regarding poverty alleviation, the organization provides clean water and sanitation, food security, promote health and hygiene, and micro-credit operation.
After years of operation, BASA has over 550 committed staff working on 70 local offices spread across the country.
BASA is open to application from volunteers and donors, in and out of the country.
Having reached the end of our article. A question might be popping up in your mind, such as:
Why are almost all the NGOs in Bangladesh based in Dhaka?
Well, the simple answer is because Dhaka is the capital and largest city in Bangladesh.
We understand the struggle—many people, young and old, children and women—are passing through in the country. And, in order for us to make our own honest contribution in the ongoing fight against human rights abuses, poverty, injustice, and health crises. We hope that our compilation of the top NGO list in Bangladesh will help you choose a perfect organization when the need arises.
And like we said early on in this article, the list comprises some of the leading international NGOs in Bangladesh. And this will help you make an informed decision on which NGO to work for, and/or call for help.