On February 16, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller, UK Department for International Development (DFID) Senior Governance Adviser Aislin Baker, and Bangladesh Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Anisul Huqjointly launched a new Legal Manual for Civil Society Organizations in Bangladesh to help Bangladeshicivil society organizations carry out their missions more effectively.
The U.S.government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), partnered with the UK’s DFID to publish the manual, which was developed by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, an international non-profit organization with technical input from Bangladeshi civil society representatives. The manual helps local civil society groups understand laws and procedures required to obtain legal status in Bangladesh, serving as a roadmap to help them navigate the Bangladeshi legal environment.
Ambassador Miller noted the important role civil society plays as an essential channel for communication between citizens and government and in advocating for civil and human rights for all. He reiterated the U.S. government’s commitment to strengthening civil society and supporting citizen responsive governance, as evidenced by the funding of the manual.
Law Minister Anisul Huq also emphasized the importance of the legal manual and the need for advancing civil society andgovernment cooperation.
The U.S. government, through USAID, has provided more than $7 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971. In 2019, USAID provided over $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programs that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resilience to climate change.