Charities, societies complain of ‘shortage’ of funds
Charities and Societies that are engaged in supporting different people across the country complained that shortage of finance is preventing them from executing their day-to-day activities. The shortage of finance is mainly associated with the enactment of the Charities and Societies Proclamation back in 2009.
The law, according to practitioners, restricts NGO fundraising activities and operations, and imposed stricter requirements for registration.
At a workshop entitled: “Charities and Societies Resource Challenge”, which was organized by the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Forum (ECSF) earlier this week at Kaleb Hotel, officials from the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency (ECCA), heads of NGOs, and donors deliberated on pertinent issues that are challenging charities and societies.
“Currently, many organizations are established following the introduction of the 70/30 ratio and the establishment of the organizations is essential in addressing various issues throughout the country. However, many organizations are also phasing out because of shortage of finance,” Negash Teklu, CEO of the Forum, told The Reporter.
According to the CEO, the magnitude of the problem is more severe in the regional states, specifically Benishangul Gumuz, Afar, and Somali.
“Because of this constraint, it is very difficult to reach those in remote areas and the venerable segment of the society including women and children,” he said.
The CEO further stated: “We are not coming to a conclusion that shortage of resource is the sole cause for the closure of the organizations and for the challenges the existing organizations face. What we are saying is that we should examine both the external and internal factors and try to look for solutions. That’s why this workshop is organized.”
Meseret Gebremariam, director of the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency (ECCA), downplayed the claim and said that the problem is not associated with shortage of money but with the capacity of organizations.
“Donors stated that their assistance to the organizations has been increasing from time to time while identifying major areas of focus including alleviating poverty and assisting projects focusing on the development of the country. However, those organizations that failed to comply with such arrangements failed to secure the funds,” the director argued.
He added that organizations with a better capacity are working properly to reach their target, but those with limited capacity and and those who mainly focus on their own personal interests perish.
However, the line of argument of the director was not accepted by the CEO of the forum. “We are not simply saying that there is lack of resource without examining ourselves. We have found out that it is a major problem. In that regard, we decided to strengthen the dialogue between donors and the government so as to get a long-lasting solution,” he said.
The Forum was established in 2013 with the aim of facilitating the collaborative engagements of charities and societies. It also aims to create the necessary systems and infrastructures that can enable charities and societies have a meaningful participation in the development of the nation.