CARE Bangladesh hosted meeting with National Char Alliance (NCA)
20 September, 2017
CARE Bangladesh hosted a meeting with National Char Alliance (NCA) on 14 September 2017, in RAOWA Club, Mohakhali, Dhaka. National Char Alliance (NCA) is a macro level advocacy platform comprising of 50 INGOs and NGOs, business organizations, journalists, researchers and academicians, works with different stakeholders e.g., Government of Bangladesh, Local Government, policy makers, donors and civil society to facilitate issues with an aim to eradicate extreme poverty and catalyze sustainable change in the life of Char dwellers.
As a follow-up of this meeting, National Char Alliance members along with Anowarul Haq-Director ERPP met Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Advisor of International Affairs to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Special Representative of the Honourable Prime Minister at his office on September 17, 2017. The meeting brought an opportunity for the NCA members to discuss the marginalization of the impoverished char dwellers and to suggest for a government institutional structure for development. This is an ongoing initiative of national char alliance to facilitate sustainable solution in addressing pertinent issues of char.
Dr. Rizvi was extremely supportive of NCA’s endeavour and thanked the NCA members for their continuous advocacy effort. He recommended NCA to prepare and submit a succinct two page document consisting of data on char and NCA’s specific recommendations within next two weeks. Dr. Rizvi also mentioned his gratitude to forward the recommendations to the Honourable Prime Minister as his recommendation.
In last couple of years, NCA has been advocating with the government to form a formal foundation specific for Char to implement context-specific development projects of the government. NCA has suggested 14 points recommendation to the Government of Bangladesh from immediate response which evolved from the 1st National Char Convention. As a founding member of NCA, CARE Bangladesh advocates for allocations of budget for Chars to pursue various development works. Ministers MP (Member of Parliament), Government Officials, academicians and civil society organizations work in collaboration with CARE Bangladesh on this issue.
As a part of larger mobilization strategy, 5 MPs recently raised the necessity of a foundation or board for Chars in the National Parliament. The Prime Minster of Bangladesh has declared special fund for Char in her budget speech at the National Parliament.
In addition to this, NCA has mobilized a petition signed by 20 MPs from Char area to take action of a Char-specific institutional arrangement. NCA is now planning to meet with the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina regarding the foundation and utilization of allocated budget for the development of Char.
In the meeting, the NCA members decided to organize media advocacy to create attention of the policy makers on the recent devastating flood that affected the Char areas. NCA will also organize a press conference to share the damages and losses after the flood with demands for immediate actions – all member organizations will submit their situation analysis on this.