The Partners of the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh along with their associates are actively dealing with the annihilation and destructions unleashed by COVID-19. The Platform, established in 2016, currently comprises of more than 100 non-state actors and their networks and associates, including the private sector entities, non-government development organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs), media activists, research centers and think tanks and other professionals.

Two of the Platform’s Partner organisations started their works from the first week of January 2020, particularly through community radio, for improving awareness and sharing information on the crisis. Most of the Partners got engaged by middle of March 2020 in direct response against the pandemic.

The major areas of their entanglements (in order of importance) are the following: Awareness; Food security; WASH; Health; Education; Employment; Agriculture; Direct cash support; Shelter; Legal support; Transparency in relief distribution; Research and analysis; Transport to affected people; and Rehabilitation. One of the major roles of the Partners in this context had been establishing linkage between the government’s initiatives and the target groups. A number of Partners also involved in COVID response activities in the Rohingya camps.

The groups of population (often overlapping) covered by these interventions are the following: Persons with disability; Girls and women; Communities in hard-to-reach areas; Children; Indigenous community; Daily wage-earners; Youth; Dalit community; Third gender community; Senior citizens/elderly people; Local administration/government; Floating communities and occupational minorities, such as sex workers, waste labourers, etc.

These activities are pursued in the following administrative divisions (in order of intensity of interventions): Dhaka; Rangpur; Chattogram; Rajshahi; Barishal; Mymensingh; Khulna; and Sylhet.

An initial estimate, based on the records of 40 Partner organisations, indicate a commitment of more than BDT 600 crore towards implementing short- and mid-term interventions to deal with COVID-19.

This document summarises the observations of the Partners of the Citizen’s Platform, as well as those of the members of the Core Group of the Platform, derived from the experience of more than 100 non-state actors. These Partner organisations and their associates are intensively engaged in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic at the grassroots level, across the country. The present briefing note seeks to elicit policy response towards the challenges that the non-state development actors are facing while undertaking their coronavirus-related activities. The document also highlights a set of perspectives of the Platform Partners demanding urgent policy attention for pursuing an effective anti-COVID-19 drive.

Publication Period: May 2020

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