Friday, October 5, 2007

Islamic NGOs in Bangladesh

Islamic NGOs live off shady funds: TIB boss
Oct 5, 2007

Dhaka, Oct 4 ( – Most of the NGOs registered over the last five years are Islamic organisations living off shady foreign funds, the chief of Transparency International Bangladesh said Thursday.

Prof Mozaffer Ahmad underlined the need for an independent NGO Commission to regulate the NGO activities.

"About 4,000 Islamic NGOs are operating in the country with the funds—mostly from Saudi Arabia," Ahmad told a roundtable, organised by the sleaze watchdog at the CIRDAP Auditorium.

"It's not true that NGOs cannot continue their development work without foreign funds. The country rather runs into a lot of problems just because of associations with donors," he said.

The TIB chairman said people should be encouraged by the spirit of volunteerism: principles of empathy and sacrifice in times of a crisis—the way volunteers had stood by the people affected by diseases in the past.

"We should revive those lost traditions to help the country," Ahmad said.

TIB research officer Sadhan Kumar Das presented a survey report that detailed the activities of the NGOs. The survey was based on 20 nongovernmental organisations.

The survey uncovered irregularities in policymaking and fund handling by the NGOs in a sector hit by what the report said was "midlevel corruption".

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