Bangladesh is a South Asian country with a population of over 180 million people occupying an area of 147,570 square kilometers. The country shares borders with India and Myanmar, while the Bay of Bengal lies to the south. Bangladesh is prone to natural disasters like flooding and cyclones due to its location at the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers.

Despite significant economic progress, Bangladesh faces challenges in poverty, inequality, and limited access to healthcare. Bangladesh shelters over a million Rohingya refugees who fled persecution in Myanmar. Limited resources, overcrowding, and lack of basic necessities remain significant challenges despite government and international organizations’ efforts to address the crisis. Moreover, Bangladesh is vulnerable to climate change impacts, putting the lives and livelihoods of coastal inhabitants at risk. Localization of humanitarian aid is necessary to address these challenges, but limited funding and resources, social and political barriers, and lack of coordination between international and local actors pose significant obstacles. Therefore, quality funding & partnership, coordination, and effective collaboration between stakeholders involved in the humanitarian response are crucial to promote effective localization of humanitarian aid in Bangladesh.

Local Humanitarian Partners (LHPs)

AFAD (Association For Alternative Development) is a women led non-profit humanitarian and development organization, situated in northern Bangladesh. Since 1999, the organization has been working in Kurigram district to empower women and girls with a view to creating a world where women have equal opportunities and can reach their full potential. AFAD works on a range of issues, including gender mainstreaming, education, economic empowerment, health and wellness, ending gender-based violence, disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change & resilience, WASH and livelihood.

The Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) was established in 1996 to promote inclusivity and equal rights for people with disabilities. It uses a twin-track approach and works in both humanitarian and development contexts, particularly in hard-to-reach and disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh. CDD places people with disabilities at the center of its interventions in all sectors and mainly focuses on rehabilitation, assistive devices, inclusive education, livelihood, DRR, enterprise development, care and support services, institutional development of organizations for persons with disabilities, and mainstreaming disability.

Mukti Foundation is a local rights-based NGO that has been working in the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh, particularly in Satkhira, Khulna, and Bagerhat districts since 1996. The organization aims to bring about positive changes in people’s lives through a variety of programs and services. Mukti Foundation works on livelihood, agricultural, and food security initiatives to improve the economic situation of the communities it serves. It also provides relief and rehabilitation services to help people recover from disasters such as floods, cyclones, and other emergencies.   

PHALS (Programme for Helpless and Lagged Societies) is a local NGO based in Cox’s Bazar, established in 1992. The organization works to empower vulnerable individuals in both the host and Rohingya communities through various interventions in collaboration with governmental, non-governmental, and international partners. PHALS focuses on education, health, child protection, livelihood, disability inclusion, humanitarian response, DRR, human rights, refugee rights, environment, and climate change. Currently, the organization is running eight projects in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar Sadar, Ramu, and Teknaf Upazila with positive engagement from stakeholders.