Role of NGO’s/MFI’s in rural poverty eradication in Bangladesh

Right now Non-Governmental Organizations or NGOs have become an extensively discussed theme in third world countries. Bangladesh is facing a massive challenge to meet up the demand of her ever-increasing population. Although the agriculture sector is the main source of income for this rural-agro based country, unfortunately, this sector has completely failed to create maximum rewarding employment opportunities for the landless. Considering these overall situations, the NGOs are working on poverty eradication by directly involving the poverty-stricken population.

Rural poverty background

At the beginning of the twentieth century worldwide rapid industrialization and urbanization took place, which leads to a further breach of congruency between the urban and the rural sector. In most countries around the world, the poverty condition is divided into two broad sectors: urban and rural. The primary reason is to undertake separate plans for each type considering the features, demand, necessity, and priority of the urban and rural sectors. The rural sector is greater than the urban sector in developing countries, rural development is directly co-related with national development.

What is Rural Poverty?

Those who are a landless farmer and small or marginal farmer they are usually identified as the rural poverty-stricken populace. Someone advocated for identifying rural poverty by the capability of earnings of the village populace to satisfy their needs and wants. That also emphasized on nutrition and safety. Another group says that various socio-economic variables identifying rural poverty. These are Adult literacy rate Health and Nutrition facility Cultivable land and elements Security Family income and savings.

NGOs and MFIs Background

The history of philanthropic activities is as antiquated as the history of mankind. From the day man started living together in society, since then they have begun to help each other in time of need. In ancient time, people used to live in small group and whenever any one of them fell into trouble and then the strong and sympathetic kinsmen would come out to help each other. The substituted prevalent version of these separate and unorganized activities is today’s NGOs. It is almost unlikely for any long-term solution to all these problems by the government alone, but with the aid of MFIs (Microfinance Program) it is feasible for some long-term solution to all these problems.

NGO’s/MFI’s Definition

In Bangladesh, the term NGO is very well known and NGO activities are widespread. In Britain, the USA and other English spoken country NGOs refer to non-profitable organizations. Literally NGO is Non-Governmental aid providing organization. According to the social science dictionary, ‘Non-Government The organization is a non-profit agency that serves some public interest’. NGO’s/MFI’s are usually defined as an association of persons organized on voluntary basis through the initiative of one or more dedicated persons committed to the planning and implementation of development projects at the grass root level. NGO’s/MFI’s although work outside the government structure but they are within the legal framework of the country.

Missions and Goals of NGO’s/MFI’s

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are launched with various purposes. The missions and goals with which the NGOs are established and conducting their operations. NGOs are assisting the poor and suffering people as well as exercising self-control through utilization of own resources. Identifying native assets, local leadership and ensuring effective utilization of these for welfare and development. Coordinating the poor and deprived ones through formation of Group/Somity and thus facilitate the socio-economic progress including Health and Nutrition and Development. Acting as the associate of the government and not as competitor.Generating alternatives to overcome special social problems and hurdles besides taking necessary steps to aware the general population. Creating positive attitude of the society, annihilation of superstition and belief against development and bringing in the deprived ones in the main stream of development giving priority to women in loan scheme by involving them directly in production process and thus creating scope of additional income in the family which gradually leads to self-sufficiency. Continuing the assistance towards poor so that they can create own investment by saving at a growing rate from upward income. Creating awareness and developing leadership for the landless and relatively less facilitated ones. Helping out people in coping with the changing societal environment.

Poverty Situation in Bangladesh

The incessant battle against poverty and famine is long observed in our country. People like a day laborer, a rickshaw puller, weavers, fisherman, small businessman, shop owners, smith, and landless people, farmer and marginal farmer live in abject poverty. According to some reports, the poverty rate in Bangladesh is around 36%-40% with 40% ultra-poor living in the rural area and 15% in the urban area. Almost 42.5% of the people living in villages are poor while 18.7% are termed ultra-poor (2020)

NGO’s/MFI’s Activities

The NGO’s/MFI’s have taken some significant initiatives to handle the poverty situation in Bangladesh considering certain aspects. Like Humanitarian Progress and Structural, Development of Organizations for Rural Poor, Employment Generation, Organizing Groups and Participation of the Beneficiaries Innovating, Appropriate Technology for Small and Seasonal Farmers and Targeting Women as Beneficiary. NGO’s/MFI’s believed and there experience says that in a family men manage outside and all staff of NGO’s/MFI’s easily can contact with all family woman for supervise and monitoring purpose. For this, NGO’s/MFI’s opiates Microfinance with their members by group/Somity base. Creating Facilities for Poor to Enjoy Government Owned khas land and Properties, health, nutrition and hygiene relief and rehabilitation Projects, Informal & Non-formal education and Microfinance for their Members.


The NGO’s/MFI’s have proven themselves as the true associates/partner of the government in poverty eradication and socio-cultural development. In many cases, NGOs/MFI’s are more successful in some aspects of development where the government is playing a secondary role. But NGO’s/MFI’s has some limitation likes leaving out the ultra-poor, partial and sub-divided working periphery weak relationship, participating in commercial activities, supporting political parties, etc. If NGO’s/MFI’s can overcome these limitations then it can surely be hoped that they continue playing the role of savior of poverty eradication and social development in Bangladesh and lead the country to sustainable economic growth and development. NGO’s/MFI’s also targeted side by side with the Bangladesh Government together for SDG.