11 August 2022

The Bangladesh government aimed to provide subsidised food to 10 million families during the pandemic, but the programme fell short. A research study by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) showed that 40% of those living below the poverty line were left out. The failure was due to corruption and mismanagement at the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).

The study revealed that the lack of information, illegal inclusion of wealthy and politically connected individuals in the beneficiary list, fraud and bribery led to the failure. The most affected were women and marginalised communities with little to no contact with government representatives.

There was also a lack of accountability mechanisms, leaving people who faced corruption and irregularities with no means of complaining.

TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said proper checks and balances could have prevented the mismanagement. The report has recommendations, including publishing the beneficiary list, better publicity, accountability mechanisms, and considering beneficiaries' purchasing capability to improve the future programme.

The full research report can be found on TIB's website at www.ti-bangladesh.org.