United States Co-sponsors The International Conference on Local Government 2013

More than 500 government officials participated at the Local Governance Conference. Participantes from Bangladesh and ten other
More than 500 government officials participated at the Local Governance Conference. Participants from Bangladesh and ten other countries discussed decentralization, gender equality, public-private partnership, disaster risk reduction, climate change.

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DHAKA – Today the Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB) and the Bangladesh Union Parishad Forum (BUPF) brought together more than 500 local government officials at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka for the 2013 International Conference on Local Government. Over two days, conference participants from Bangladesh and ten other countries will discuss key topics for their constituencies, including decentralization, public-private partnerships, climate change, disaster risk reduction, and gender equality. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), along with the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), provided technical and financial support for the conference.

The Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the conference. US Ambassador Dan Mozena and Denmark’s Ambassador Svend Olling participated as Guests of Honor. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Minister for LGRD & Cooperatives Syed Ashraful Islam, State Minister for LGRD&C Jahangir Kabir Nanok, State Minister for the Ministry of Home Affairs Advocate Shamsul Hoque Tuku and Abu Alam Md. Shahid Khan, Secretary, Local Government Division, all spoke at the inauguration as special guests.

In the two day conference, elected local officials will exchange their knowledge and experience working through local government associations to promote good governance. Through special panels and discussions, the conference will also highlight innovations in local governance. The conference will also showcase initiatives that strengthen local government, transparency and accountability through citizen participation.

USAID, through its Strengthening Democratic Local Governance (SDLG) activity, supports training for local government councils on financial management, participatory planning and budgeting, and service delivery so that these organizations can become more effective, democratic, gender sensitive, and accountable. USAID through SDLG also supports research and advocacy on policies to advance decentralization and the strengthening of nationwide local government associations.

The U.S. Government, through USAID, has provided over $6 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971. In 2012 alone, USAID provided more than $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh. USAID supports programs in Bangladesh that: promote democratic institutions and practices, expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education services, and increase resiliency to climate change through adaptation and low carbon development.