Authority assesses NGOs on terrorism financing

Authority assesses NGOs on terrorism financing

The Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) Regulatory Authority (Ngora) has embarked on an exercise to assess terrorism risk among NGOs in the country to ascertain if there are some at risk of being abused by terrorists.

Speaking on Friday when Ngora engaged NGOs in Lilongwe to update them on the status of NGO Act regulations and initiatives Ngora is undertaking, Ngora chief executive officer Edward Chileka Banda said through the exercise government wants to check if NGOs are benefitting from terrorism financing and if they are being used to support terrorism activities elsewhere.

Chileka-Banda: We are assessing

He said: “Internationally there is this  issue of financing terrorism and some terrorists find NGOs or non-profit making organisations fertile for their operations.

“So, we are asking NGOs to ensure that they are not used for money laundering and also for financing terrorism.”

Chileka-Banda said Ngora cannot conclude that there are NGOs benefitting from terrorism financing or are part of terrorism activities, but the regulatory body has noted that some NGOs are not accountable on their financing.

He said terrorists tend to use some NGOs as a channel to finance their activities; hence, the assessment. He also said the  assessment will help protect NGOs from being abused by terrorists and ensure that the NGO sector is not part of any criminal activities including money laundering, corruption and abuse of funds.

“We just want to assess and ensure that any NGOs that are at risk of being abused by terrorists should be protected. That is the intention of the exercise,” said Chileka-Banda

Amref Health Africa Malawi country director Hester Mkwinda Nyasulu said NGOs welcome the move saying terrorism is evil and NGOs are not supposed to be part of terrorism activities or benefit from terrorism financing.

“We don’t have to  promote terrorism. It is not a good thing. We welcome the assessment that has been put forward,” he said.

Nyasulu called on the NGOs in the country to take part in the assessment to help promote a terrorist free community.

Ngora has given all NGOs up to March 31 to get registered, ensure that their licences are renewed and submit reports on their operations.

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