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Global Philanthropy Update - March 2022

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 12:00 pm EST
Brian Kastner

Funders around the world have sprung into action to support those at risk during the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Eastern Europe. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has already resulted in more than 800,000 Ukrainians fleeing the conflict and seeking refuge abroad. As the conflict continues, philanthropy has a unique opportunity to help.

The Council is co-convening a webinar on the Ukraine crisis with the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships on Thursday, March 3, at 3:00 pm ET to update funders on the humanitarian needs and how foundations can assist. Thomas Debass, Managing Director of the Office of Global Partnerships, will lead the government report out of what is happening on the ground, and Nick Deychakiwsky, Senior Program Officer for Civil Society at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, will share the perspective of a foundation with a long history of working in the region. The Council’s President & CEO, Kathleen Enright, will moderate the discussion. Additional speakers may be announced. Please register below if you are interested in attending.

Register Now

 

On our website, we’ve curated a list of Ukraine response funds and resources to assist funders with the challenging task of disaster response. Please reach out to me if you have a resource you’d like to add to this list.

As new sanctions are imposed in the region in response to Russia's attack, we encourage you to ensure that your grants are in full compliance with U.S. and E.U. sanctions. If you need a reminder, you can review both OFAC’s sanctions and the E.U.’s.

Our hearts are with those directly impacted, and with you and any staff, friends, or family you may have in the region. Please reach out and let us know how we can be of support.

With gratitude,

Brian Kastner
Director, Engagement
brian.kastner@cof.org

P.S. I also encourage you to attend the German Marshall Fund’s event “Standing with Ukraine: Strengthening Crisis Support” this Thursday at 10:00 am ET and TAG’s special briefing for members, “Cybersecurity Implications of Ukraine Crisis,” next Tuesday, March 8, at 3:00 pm ET.

News

FOREIGN AGENT REGISTRATION ACT

The Department of Justice recently released a request for comments on FARA. For years, the Council has been actively tracking FARA cases and working to advance legislative fixes with our partners, including the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law and InterAction. We shared with DOJ our concerns about FARA, its sweeping language, and politicized enforcement. Read our full comments and see coverage from Axios for more context. 

50TH HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

In advance of the 50th Human Rights Council, the Council submitted comments to the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association. We joined partners, including the Charity & Security Network and WINGS, in expressing deep concerns about ongoing legislation across the world that restricts philanthropic funding and stifles the ability of nonprofits to fundraise internationally, as well as operate within a safe and coherent regulatory framework. You may read our full comments here

THAILAND'S DRAFT ACT ON THE OPERATION OF NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

In early January, the Thai government approved a bill that if passed could fundamentally reshape how nonprofits operate within the country. The bill would permit the government to restrict and constrain nonprofit activities, including new punishments for organizations that run afoul of the vague language. Additionally, foreign funding is specifically targeted in this bill. In Section 21, nonprofits would be required to report all foreign funding to the government, including the source of funds, the bank account, the amount received, and purposes. Section 22 requires that nonprofits provide public income and expense reports to the government. 

This bill reflects the ongoing trend of legislation that targets and strengthens governmental control over nonprofits. The bill itself reflects similar legislation globally, including India’s recent amendments to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Versions of this bill have been circulating for a year and public critique has been significant.

BURKINA FASO

In late January 2022, the country’s military deposed President Rach Kabore and dissolved the country’s parliament. Just this week, a national conference has provided the military with a three-year term for the transition of power. The coup, which prompted the U.S. to suspend over $150m in aid and resulted in the country being suspended from ECOWAS and the African Union, will now clearly result in military leadership for the next few years.  

LIBYA

This week, Libya’s parliament announced a new government which was subsequently rejected by the sitting administration, likely prolonging a de-facto civil war within the country and raising risks of armed conflict. Current prime minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah was installed through an effort backed by the UN in 2021. 

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