Govt should join hands with non-state actors in fight against COVID-19

Govt should join hands with non-state actors in fight against COVID-19
The government should synergy with the non-governmental organisations in its fight against the raging coronavirus as the non-state actors have an appreciable occurrence in the united states, said the Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh yesterday.

"While the NGOs already are doing their best in a variety of areas in the fight against coronavirus, the efforts could possibly be considerably scaled up if the government purposefully utilises them," said the platform, which comprises a lot more than 100 non-state actors and their networks and associates.

The government should utilize this unused strength properly in this national crisis, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, convenor of the Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh, in a virtual media briefing styled "Strengthening Effectiveness of the Non-State Actors' in COVID-19 Response Activities".

In line with the platform, the national strategy rolled out by the federal government to handle the deadly bug that has up to now 2,144 and killed 84 will not explicitly identify the non-state actors as partners in working with this national emergency.

Even though some interactions are arriving at pass between your district or upazila and these organisations, there has to be a policy announcement from the best level, Bhattacharya said.  

"We wish to strengthen the hands of the federal government," said Shaheen Anam, a core group person in the platform and executive director of the Manusher Jonno Foundation.

Two of the platform's partner organisations started working from the first week of January 2020 to soften the blow of the novel, lethal virus, while almost all of the partners got engaged by the center of March, immediately after the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were announced.

A short estimate indicates that the organisations have committed more than Tk 600 crore to implementing short- and mid-term interventions to cope with coronavirus.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the unfolding pandemic, combined with the immediate visible stress, is going to have a far-reaching impact on Bangladesh's economical performance, social cohesion, environmental sustainability and democratic governance, the platform said in a paper presented by Bhattacharya.

"There is a high possibility that, therefore of the unprecedented pandemic, inequalities and discriminations may further heighten in the united states."

These trends may accentuate the entrenched vulnerabilities of the citizens left out, frustrating the progress created by Bangladesh through the first cycle of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The protracting shutdown, which started on March 26 and is likely to continue until the end of this month, is creating serious livelihood challenges for income-vulnerable groups.

The so-called lower middle-class persons are feeling the pangs of acute monetary hardship.

The government must work out a targeted cash support infusion technique to deal with this situation, the platform said.

As a result of total stoppage of transportation, you will find a breakdown of the supply chains.

The farmers will be the direct victims of this situation, because they are not obtaining the proper price for his or her produce, while prices remain saturated in the markets of the administrative centre.

"The government needs to urgently organise military convoy vehicles to revive the agri-supply chain," Bhattacharya said.

Given the large amount of public resources being allocated for the marginalised and vulnerable population, it really is natural for the federal government to have the interest to know the amount of efficacy of its initiatives, the platform said.

"We are earnestly welcoming all the stimulus packages. There should be proper monitoring of the implementation of the stimulus packages but we aren't since. So, we doubt whether these assistances would be properly distributed," Anam said.

The coronavirus has unmasked many institutional, social and political weaknesses, said Bhattacharya.

If there have been no budget deficit and revenue collection were higher, the federal government would have been able to give more stimulus.

If there were accountable municipality system, rice and wheat theft wouldn't normally have taken place.

"We are also seeing too little coordination in the federal government. We have to take into account the mid-term solutions within the short-term solutions," Bhattacharya added.

Anam also said those people who are suspected to getting COVID-19 are also being stigmatised: they are being left unattended and so are not being admitted to hospitals.

"We are receiving information and news from the field level that returnee migrant workers are being stigmatised."

A common message should be given from the federal government to save lots of them from stigmatisation, she added.

Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of the Campaign for Popular Education, also spoke.
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