make Bangladesh poverty free.
poverty in the impassable hilly regions and other un-served areas
of Bangladesh in order to create a poverty free Bangladesh.
main objective of IDF is to assist the poor, the landless, the destitute
women and children, small farmers and disabled persons in order
to enable them to gain access to resources and undertake various
income generating and other activities for poverty alleviation and
enhancing quality of life in terms of health, nutrition, sanitation,
education, safe water, housing, environment through building effective
institutions of their own, which they can understand and operate
and can find socio-economic strength in it through mutual support.
Integrated Development Foundation is a non-profit non-government organization
established in December 1992 at the initiative of Mr. Zahirul Alam,
a former ILO expert and close associate of Professor Muhammad Yunus,
the eminent economist and founder of Grameen Model of Micro-finance,
to work for the poor people of mainly backward, difficult and un-served
areas of Bangladesh.
IDF started its journey with Micro-finance program for the poor tribal
of Chittagong Hill Tracts in October 1993.
Chittagong Hill Tracts is a very remote, difficult, impassable and politically
unstable area located in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh inhabited
by 13 different very poor tribes with different languages and cultures.
The people of Chittagong Hill Tracts are very poor and they live mainly
on Jhum cultivation
and bamboo and wood cutting which are main causes of deforestation and
soil erosion in the Hill Tracts. Most people live in absolute poverty.
In spite of all efforts of the government, the people of Chittagong
Hill Tracts still lack access to various services such as credit, agricultural
inputs and extension services, medical facilities, safe drinking water
etc. This is mainly because of i) scattered
population, ii) poor communication system,
iii) conservativeness of the tribal people and iv)
political problem. The language barrier further aggravates
IDF initially selected Chittagong hill tracts as its operational area
mainly because the poor people of CHT lacked access to institutional
or informal sources of credit, and a very high rate of interest ranging
from 250%-1000%. The asset-less poor people do not have access even
to informal sources of credit. Most small farmers who took credit from
informal sources (money lenders) ended up as landless.
The success of the poverty alleviation interventions of IDF immediately
attracted the poor people of surrounding areas and they started coming
to IDF to be included in IDF poverty alleviation programs. Gradually
IDF expanded its programs for the poor people of other remote and un-served
areas of Chittagong Division. IDF has a vision to reach every poor people
of Bangladesh with this success and make Bangladesh poverty free.
The commitment and success of IDF to work for the extreme poor people
of hilly, remote and backward areas have been recognized by development
agencies both in country and abroad, and they come forward to support
IDF’s poverty alleviation interventions. Grameen Trust is the
first to join IDF afterwards followed by Sida, PKSF, HKI, ILO, AusAID,
CARE Bangladesh, UNCDF, UNICEF, USAID, IDCOL, Government of Bangladesh
(Ministries & Departments), Basic Bank and other organizations at
home as well as Grameen Foundation USA, Deutsche Bank and Cow Bank Australia
from abroad to fight against poverty and promote socio-economic development
in the CHT and other un-served areas of Bangladesh.