Bangladesh was under the hegemony of foreign domination for hundreds of years. She is the youngest war born nation in the South Asian Region. The people of Bangladesh suffered untold miseries, economic exploitation, deprivation, social injustice, political subjugation, killings, torture and cultural domination from Pakistani rulers for more than 23 years even after the end of the British rule in the Indian sub-continent. The whole nation stood up and revolted with arms against Pakistani atrocities, killings, rape and repression for establishing democracy and economic sovereignty. Bangladesh fought an arms struggle for nine months in 1971 to achieve national independence. Since its inception on 16th December 1971 as a sovereign and independent nation, Bangladesh has received more than 35 billion U.S. dollars mostly from West Europe, Japan, Australia, USA, Canada, World Bank-WB, International Monetary Fund-IMF, Asian Development Bank-ADB, Islamic Development Bank-IDB, International Development Association-IDA, Multinational and Transnational corporations etc. as food aid, project aid, commodity aid and loan to redress the sufferings and for development of the people. Moreover, large number of National and International Non Govt. Organizations-NGOs and United Nations-UN bodies have been implementing various types of projects side by side with the Government to eradicate hunger, poverty and sufferings of the people of Bangladesh. But assessment of all those efforts shows that people's sufferings has not been removed or reduced. Poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease, unemployment still persists and exploitation, injustice, deprivations, disparities and dispositions rule the society and its people. The number of destitute & landless people increased from 30% in 1972 to more than 70% in the 90's. They live below poverty level and cannot meet their basic necessities adequately. In spite of lofty slogans and massive propaganda about development and costly printed visual achievement reports of various agencies & organizations, the truth is that more than 75% people of Bangladesh are very poor, their daily income is less than US. 1 (one) dollar that is also not regular. They have been kept in the darkness of illiteracy, ignorance & fatalism. They are not benefited from the fruits of independence & development pursuits. Moreover, they are adversely affected by the so called development projects i.e. roads & highways, by-passes, embankments, dams & dikes, polders, urbanizations and industrializations, children parks, stadiums, posh residential areas, helipads, air ports, export processing zones etc. undertaken by the Govt. with foreign credit and collaboration. Moreover, the landless and the poor peasants, the powerless, indigenous people, the laborers, workers & employees, the disadvantaged women and the destitute children are worst hit by Globalization, Liberalization, Free Market Economy, World Trade Organisation-WTO etc.
Bangladesh is not at all a poor country; she is kept poor, impoverished & indebted. Bangladesh is blessed with hard working resilient peasants and workers, fertile land and alluvial soil, favourable climatic conditions to grow cash crops, food grains, fruits, vegetables etc. round the year, gas, mineral resources, rivers, water bodies, fisheries and forests. ARBAN believes that the vast majority of the people of Bangladesh are poor & powerless not because of the lack of resources but because of lack or no access of the poor & powerless to the means of productive resources.
The Association for realization of Basic Needs-ARBAN, a Non Govt. Development Organization, concerned with fundamental rights and the basic needs of the people, was founded on 18th February 1984. ARBAN believes that all development projects and programmes designed and implemented by the Government, NGOs, International Organizations, UN bodies and others should be directed towards the fulfillment of the basic needs and fundamental rights of the people who live in perpetual poverty, famine, malnutrition, disease, deprivation, indebtedness, injustice and exploitations.