Nepal | July 20, 2019

Over 100 new INGOs operating after April 25 quake, aftershocks

Rajan Pokhrel

Only 14 of them have registered with SWC

KATHMANDU: The government authorities on Monday revealed that they were facing a tough time tracking the activities of international non-governmental organisations due to a phenomenal rise in their number after the April temblor.

According to high-level officials, Nepal has witnessed the operation of over 100 new INGOs in the last eight weeks after the devastating earthquake struck the country.

Though the list of new INGOs obtained by this daily shows over 100 INGOs, ranging from Church World Services to Secours Islamique, have become active here after the quake, the government officials are not fully aware of where and how these INGOs are operating.

Member Secretary at the Social Welfare Council Rabindra Kumar said none of the over 100 INGOs that had mobilised their resources after the earthquake were in touch with the council. As per the Social Welfare Act, INGOs are barred from channelising foreign funds in the country without obtaining permission from SWC.

“Only 14 new INGOs have contacted SWC after the April 25 quake for general agreement to work in the country but others have not,” he said.

Under Secretary Laxmi Narayan Upreti, who looks after I/NGOs coordination unit under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, said, “All INGOs must obtain SWC approval to operate.” He added that lack of coordination among the ministries encouraged INGOs to operate without being accounted for.

Stating that it would be counter-productive for any nation if recovery grant went to INGOs for development, the under secretary blamed the relationship between INGOs and their donors for inability to monitor their activities. “The ministry has no idea about the status of many new INGOs that became operational after the April 25 earthquake,” he added.

Immigration department at the Tribhuvan International Airport recorded the arrival of 42,512 third-country nationals in the period between April 25 and June 17. “Among them, most of the foreign experts, despite having a tourist visa, are associated with one or another I/NGO,” an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told this daily.

MoHA has already made it clear that deployment of foreign human resources will only affect humanitarian funding with most of their funds set aside for needy people going to foreign experts. Most of the I/NGOs, with their high administrative spending, have long been criticised for lack of transparency and accountability that adversely affects the delivery of services in the target areas.

Terming the unexpected presence of INGOs as a serious matter, spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said the ministry would instruct all chief district officers to monitor the activities of all I/NGOs at the earliest. “It would be disastrous if I/NGOs were not well monitored,” the joint secretary added.

According to SWC, there are more than 42,000 NGOs registered with the council, while SWC had authorised only 198 INGOs to channelise billions of rupees of foreign funding through NGOs for periodic programmes before the April 25 earthquake.

Who all have sought  permission to work

For five-year operation
•    Terre Des Hommes, Netherlands
•    Samaritan’s Purse, US
•    Raleigh International, UK
•    Relief International, US
•    Medicos Del Monde, Spain
•    Christian Aid, UK
•    Concern Worldwide, Ireland
•    SEEDS, India
•    VEERAYATAN, India

For three-year operation
•    Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, France
•    Médecins Sans Frontières, France
•    Hands International, UK
•    Medical Teams International, US
•    Solidarity International, UK

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