Foreign Aid to Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a country with a population of 120 million people, but heavily dependent on international or foreign aid. One of the downside of receiving foreign aid is that Bangladesh still spends a part of it for waging war in the Chittagong Hill. Foreign aid is also used for socio-economic developments and fighting one of the highest poverty rates in the world.

Each year, Bangladesh spends an extra $125 million on foreign aid and 15% of its budget for military and defense purposes and for military expenses in the Chittagong Hills. Japan, the USA, European and Middle Eastern countries are large aid donors to Bangladesh. One of the mistakes that aid donors should try and fix in Bangladesh is that they never made aid donations conditional on keeping and respecting human rights in the country. If international donors will stop their aid supply until Bangladesh enforces national human rights policies, the women’s and children’s rights would have a different status today. Still, the aid is the main source of income for many poor families that are living in slums in urban areas or in underdeveloped rural areas.

The international community is constantly ignoring the fact that thanks to their aid, Bangladesh is capable of maintaining a military force in the war zone. This military presence will make the war go on forever, while important issues like human rights and medical care in Bangladesh are constantly downsized.

Human rights violations are a national problem in Bangladesh. The country receives aid to fix these problems from the following international institutions: UNICEF, World Health Organization, Australian Development Assistance Bureau, Swedish International Development Agency, Asian Development Bank and many others. Still, all these foreign players should consult the indigenous population when it comes to how all their aid should be spent. People should be the one to choose, not the government, who usually spends it on military activities.