The influx of foreign funds for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in Bangladesh increased slightly last fiscal mainly due to a rise in the aid for the Rohingya refugees here.
Donors' commitment to supplying new funds rose by 3.7 per cent to $1,031 million in fiscal year (FY) 2021-22, reveal the figures available with the NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB).
The NGOs received a pledge of $994-million support in the corresponding year.
Meanwhile, the amount of released funds also witnessed a slight rise by 5.39 per cent to $821 million in FY22 which was $779 million in FY21.
Officials say fund inflows reported with the state agency has been witnessing little growth after a sharp fall in FY20 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the recovery from the virus outbreak in sight, the financial aid for Bangladesh kept growing.
However, a lion's share of the funds is coming for the Rohingya who were forced to flee Myanmar.
All the NGOs, local and international, operating in Bangladesh must register with the NGOAB, a body under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
They must get funds and projects approved by the NGOAB.
Dr Md Jashim Uddin, additional managing director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, says there are gaps between commitments and released amounts which need to be addressed.
There is also a need for strengthening state monitoring to ensure the optimum use of funds for the country's socio-economic development, he adds.
Hailing a rise in the aid flow, Dr Jashim says: "Obviously, the money will positively impact the economy through human and social capital development."
He suggests that the implementing agencies concerned focus on using funds for employment generation and skills development activities.
According to available data, 2,061 projects in different sectors were approved in FY22 while it was 2,004 in the corresponding period.
BRAC senior director KAM Morshed says foreign aid for the local people has not increased actually in the last five years.
"The funding for NGOs is dwindling across the globe. It is likely to decrease further for Bangladesh (for its economic status)," he tells the FE.
At present, a significant amount of the funds is drawn here for the Rohingya-related activities.
Mr Morshed underscores the need for greater coordination among state agencies and NGOs.
Better coordination among socio-economic growth activities through NGOs can ensure that no initiative overlaps in one region and no region stays overlooked.
As many as 2,529 NGOs, including 261 international organisations, are registered with the government.