NRECA International played a key role in helping the government of Bangladesh establish the Rural Electrification Board (BREB) in 1977. As a result, several electric cooperative pilot projects were launched to help increase access to electricity in the country’s rural areas. In 1983, only 13,000 people living in these areas had access to electricity. Today, that number is more than 100 million.

In addition, a 2002 study documenting the benefits of rural electrification in Bangladesh, after the country had surpassed the 3.5 million rural electric consumers mark, found that the average annual income of households with electricity was 126 percent higher than those households without electricity.

This growth came as a result of the creation of 78 electric cooperatives built decades ago with the help of NRECA International through a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program launched under the Kennedy Administration. This received direct commitment and support of President Kennedy himself through his Alliance for Progress.

Today, NRECA International is supporting the BREB to ensure 39 of these electric cooperatives have the physical capacity to support the rapid population growth and electricity demand in the rural areas. Funded by the World Bank, the team will oversee the Up-Gradation of Rural Electric Distribution System project and will manage the construction of 110 sub-stations, 31 switching stations, 32 sets of river crossing towers, and new line construction and upgrades.


  • United States Agency for International Development
  • World Bank