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  • Index Gauges Quality of Humanitarian Assistance of Relief and Recovery Efforts
    risk civilians For the 2010 HRI several countries in crisis were examined to guage the quality of assistance In Somalia 3 the report found only 44 percent of those at risk for starvation received food assistance in the second half of 2009 Some of this was due to U S restrictions on funding operations in al Shabab controlled areas and an overall cut in US humanitarian funds for Somalia The

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/594 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    Switch to audio verification Home page Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/594 (2016-02-16)
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  • Now is a Good Time for a Good Faith Standard
    aid officials if they acted in good faith emphasis added According to the New York Times 3 the State Department had sought assurances from Treasury that its employees grantees and contractors delivering aid would not face enforcement action for accidental unintentional or incidental benefits to al Shabab The exchange pointed out the dilemma current national security laws create for humanitarian aid whether from government or private philanthropic and development agencies Treasury is right to take good faith into account in situations where aid is critically needed to save lives but delivery complicated Completely avoiding a listed terrorist group that controls territory may be impossible in some situations such as Somalia If a good faith standard has evolved it should be applied to nonprofits as well But it is not In the past and there has been no announced change Treasury has imposed a strict liability standard on charities that ignores good faith due diligence and humanitarian concerns Instead in 2007 Treasury officials told Congress 4 under their dual purpose theory if any aspect of an organization is engaged in terrorist support then there is a problem with the entire charitable organization No provision for accidental or incidental benefits is made Treasury s Chip Poncy said this method raises operational issues as to whether or not Treasury can look at minimizing collateral damage To date however Treasury has taken no action to address the collateral damage problem The evolution of a good faith standard is a good first step toward addressing the problem There are multiple ways good faith of charitable programs can be established For example following Internal Revenue Service rules on international grantmaking conducting site visits and audits of programs and taking reasonable steps to avoid exploitation and abuse by a listed terrorist group all demonstrate good faith What

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/284 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    Switch to audio verification Home page Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/284 (2016-02-16)
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  • Analysis: Legal Roadblocks for U.S. Famine Relief to Somalia Creating Humanitarian Crisis | Charity & Security Network
    on hold pending resolution of the OFAC Treasury Department s Office of Foreign Assets Control issue According to an August 2009 report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA the delay in reaching a decision on humanitarian funding for Somalia by the US government is already impacting many agencies and their programmes creating a planning challenge Current law prohibits any contact with a listed terrorist group regardless of intent making distribution of food to hungry people living in regions controlled by such groups nearly impossible The humanitarian exemption to the prohibition against providing material support to terrorists only extends to medicine and religious materials Interaction with a listed group however is sometimes unavoidable During Sri Lanka s civil war the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE established an extensive network of checkpoints restricting who entered or left their territory After the 2004 tsunami left hundreds of thousand on the island in need humanitarian groups found it nearly impossible to deliver aid to the refugees without some contact with the LTTE In Somalia al Shabab has reportedly made matters worse by requiring nonprofits to pay monthly security fees as part of permission to operate in areas they control Peter Smerdon a spokesman for WFP said in November Shabab gave us a list of 11 conditions for aid agencies to meet including removing women from jobs in aid work They also made a demand for payment of 20 000 over six months for security The New York Times reported that United Nations officials say they have no choice but to work with local Shabab commanders to distribute critically needed aid like 110 pound bags of sorghum tins of vegetable oil plastic sheeting and medical supplies in Shabab controlled areas The dilemma this creates in a humanitarian crisis is so severe that in the fall of 2009 according to the New York Times the State Department sought confirmation that OFAC Treasury will not seek enforcement action against United States government employees grantees and contractors if accidental unintentional or incidental benefits goes to al Shabab Treasury responded by saying any transactions with al Shabab were prohibited but that it would not prosecute American aid officials if they acted in good faith Fear of incidental benefits to some members of listed groups should not prevent the delivery of vital aid to those in need For instance if lives are saved because a U S nonprofit digs a well for a Somali village the fact that one al Shabab member gets a drink of water should not deny this critical resource to the entire village To do otherwise is to impose collective punishment on the victims a clear violation of human rights standards More Barriers to Aid The UN is apparently also grappling with the problem and has drafted its own set of conditions for contractors delivering aid In late 2009 the UN and U S were at an impasse over what the language should be but no agreement was reached after

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Legal_Roadblocks_for_US_Famine_Relief_Somalia_Creating_Crisis%20 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Impact of Counterterrorism Measures on Charities and Donors After 9/11
    come and apologize to me and say you have to understand They are just afraid period ACLU p 64 xv United States In 2004 after IARA was labeled as a terrorist group by the U S its office in Missouri was raided and all files and equipment seized The Federal Bureau of Investigations FBI used confiscated financial documents to identify and question IARA s donors about their contributions Meyers xvi United States According to one Muslim American charity s director at least 30 Muslim donors to the charity reported to him that the FBI had approached them at their workplaces and homes for voluntary interviews in 2007 about their charitable donations ACLU p 70 xvii Global Treasury s Anti Terrorist Financing Guidelines Guidelines make funders hesitant to support overseas grantees Nearly three fifths of grantmakers in a 2008 survey agreed that the more demanding post 9 11 regulatory environment discourages giving to non U S based organizations xviii After suspending funding for a Caribbean aid program one grantmaker said i f these guidelines become the de facto standard of best practices for giving abroad we might very well have to stop making grants outside the United States xix ISLAMIC CHARITIES United States After the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004 the U S government agency USA Freedom Corps recommended 250 charities for U S citizens to donate to including many faith based organizations Not a single Islamic charity was included in the list Nor did any Muslim organizations receive a prime United States Agency for International Development USAID award for relief work in Indonesia Benthall p 40 iii 4 Chad Before 9 11 the 18 Islamic Nongovernmental Organizations NGOs operating in Chad were mostly funded by benefactors from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states After U S pressure to impose new restrictions on international money transfers from Saudi Arabia only five charities remained as of March 2006 In contrast almost 300 Western NGOs including missionary organizations remain active Benthall p 9 United States Seven American Islamic charities have been shut down iv 5 with at least 7 million in charitable assets seized by the U S Department of Treasury Treasury remaining unavailable for humanitarian purposes Based on data from the United Nations Children s Fund UNICEF v 6 7 million would pay for almost 12 million childre n to receive basic health supplies or provide something nutritional to eat to nearly 26 million malnourished children BANKING United States After a Sept 2006 raid by the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force Life for Relief and Development has had ongoing problems obtaining banking services Even though no charges were filed against the Michigan based charity the only bank that will approve the charity s international wire transfers requires compliance with Treasury s Guidelines which are supposed to be voluntary and flexible xx i Tim Morris The Impact of Counter Terrorism Measures on Civil Society INTRAC June 2010 Available at http www timmorris info cairo 20CTM 20presentation pdf 7 ii INTRAC organized a

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/424 (2016-02-16)
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  • Brookings Event Focuses on Barriers to Access During Humanitarian Crisis
    and humanitarian aid delivery Ambassador Wild went on to discuss how a donor country can help using Switzerland as an example First there has to be a political will to help In a 2009 meeting in Switzerland of experts on humanitarian access two conclusions emerged i the need to develop practical instruments to improve humanitarian access and ii the recognition that there is a lack of clarity regarding the existing legal obligations related to the criteria for denial or constraint on humanitarian actors The latter conclusion convinced the Swiss government to launch an initiative in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC the Red Cross and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA The initiative aims to develop a handbook on humanitarian access and a field manual on humanitarian access Another example is Switzerland s concrete proposals including those relevant to Gaza in 2007 Ambassador Wild concluded his speech by discussing the importance of bilateral dialogues with difficult partners including non state armed actors The ambassador stressed that these actors must know and understand the humanitarian norms and that all should have humanitarian access regardless of who is in charge Martin de Boer of the ICRC Next to speak was Martin de Boer with the ICRC Mr de Boer began his speech by discussing some of the obstacles currently faced First regional access to relief areas is often made difficult by the regional control of militant or hostile groups Second some states and non state actors question international humanitarian principles and humanitarian actors According to Mr de Boer this rejection of humanitarian principles is a by product of correlating humanitarian aid to political and military objectives De Boer went on to discuss the ICRC s response to such obstacles Among them is negotiation on local or social norms often centralized around issues of reciprocity Additionally the ICRC believes that neutrality and independence builds trust neutrality is here defined as not taking sides and does not necessarily mean equal treatment as support systems might be different Additional points that Mr de Boer went on to emphasize confidentiality the importance of building relationships as the ICRC is mandated to speak with all armed actors matching words with deeds and the decentralization of humanitarian movement Humanitarian organizations must be self critical and debate the consequence of their actions before they proceed Buti Kali Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees The next presenter was Buti Kale of the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR Mr Kale began by endorsing much of what had previously been said He went on to identify some impeding factors including the vulnerability of the population as they are completely dependent on whatever institutions they have access to Mr Kale identified three barriers to access First issues of safety and security often make it difficult for humanitarian access The safety concerns vary situationally For example The Republic of Côte d Ivoire has historically been plagued by

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/514 (2016-02-16)
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  • 2011 Sphere Handbook Offers Expanded Operating Standards for Humanitarian Responders
    Protection Principles for aid providers described in the Handbook include Avoiding exposure of people to further harm as a result of humanitarian actions Ensuring people s access to impartial assistance in proportion to need and without discrimination Protecting people from physical and psychological harm arising from violence degrading treatment or the deliberate spread of fear Providing assistance to people who wish to claim their rights access available remedies and recover from the effects of abuse The Handbook includes a series of Core and Minimum Standards for humanitarian action that are based on best practices from the assistance sector During all stages of the assistance process from initial planning stages to the assessment of the aid delivery Core Standards outline the essential measures to meet the humanitarian objectives and reduce future risk and vulnerability enhance capacity and promote early recovery Key actions key indicators and guidance notes on each standard provide guidance on it can be met The six Core Standards are Creation of a people centered humanitarian response with input from affected population Coordination and collaboration with agencies and governmental authorities engaged in impartial humanitarian action Assessment to under stand the nature of the disaster identify who has been affected and how and assess people s vulnerability and capacities Design and respond based on an impartial assessment of needs Examine the effective ness quality and appropriateness of response Assessing overall aid worker performance According to the Handbook these standards are considered fundamental to the rights of people affected by conflict or disaster to assistance that supports life with dignity Additional Minimum Standards in the 2011 edition deal with four sets of life saving areas water and sanitation food security shelter and health services People in disasters have basic needs like food and water but aid work is not as simple

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/541 (2016-02-16)
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