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January 14, 2018

INGOs fear $124 million funds loss over non-registration


January 14, 2018

Islamabad : The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) has appreciated the recent decision of the federal government to allow the disapproved international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) to continue working on humanitarian assistance and development projects until the final decision is made on their appeals against registration cancellation.

It however said the non-approval of its members registration requests threatens the $124 million funding in 2018 to the misery of more than eight million possible beneficiaries.

According to Nargis Khan, policy and communications adviser at the PHF, which represents 63 INGOs working in the country, eleven PHF members are in receipt of non-approval letters from the interior ministry.

“The PHF members have demonstrated strong support for the government’s oversight of the NGO sector and its regulation. However, the lengthy approval processes and lack of clarity are restricting the NGOs’ ability to deliver valuable services to Pakistani communities. The impact of non-approval of 11 PHF members is that more than $124 million funding committed to Pakistan will be lost and more than eight million beneficiaries will not be reached in 2018. These 11 organisations employ directly over 800 and also work through several national partners and the cumulative result would be loss of thousands of jobs,” she told ‘The News’.

The PHF representative said in 2017, the forum’s member organisations collectively raised $438 million, reached 34 million people with humanitarian relief and development projects together with the government of Pakistan and local partners, and employed over 6,000 people with only 0.5 per cent being international staff.

“The PHF members work in close coordination with the government and receive no objection certificates to implement projects. They all have strict financial systems and submit regular progress and audit reports to the government of Pakistan,” she said.

Nargis Khan said as majority of the PHF members in receipt non-approval letters were in the appeal process, the PHF requested the government to ensure that the appeal process is fair and transparent; organisations are given the reasons for appeal rejection, and the relevant departments and provincial authorities are directed to facilitate INGOs for their work.

“We welcome ongoing dialogue with the interior ministry and transparency on the implementation of the INGO registration policy and appeals process. We recognise and respect the full authority of the Pakistani government to vet, register and monitor the service provision of INGOs. Ultimately, our purpose is to work in collaboration with the government of Pakistan to ensure that services and assistance reach those most in need,” she said.

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