NRECA International played a key role in helping the government of Bangladesh establish the Rural Electrification Board (BREB). As a result, several electric cooperative pilot projects were launched to help increase access to electricity in the country’s rural areas. In 1980 about 13,000 people living in the rural areas had access to electricity. By the end of that year, 13 local electric co-ops or PBS (Palli Bidyut Samities ) were established. Today, 80 PBSes serve more than 100 million people across the country. Since NRECA International’s involvement, the average annual income for Bangladeshi homes with electricity increased by 250%.

Check out the history in maps and photos.

This growth came as a result of the support 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.

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  • United States Agency for International Development
  • World Bank