Legal and Regulatory Updates
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has yet again extended the validity of FCRA licenses for nonprofits pending renewal till September 30, 2023. Meanwhile, roughly two years after MHA canceled Oxfam India’s FCRA license, they are being referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for alleged FCRA violations. Current data from the government indicates roughly 16,000 nonprofits have valid FCRA licenses.
Georgia Foreign Agent Bill
In March, the parliament in Georgia dropped a controversial “foreign agent” bill that was modeled after a similar Russian law. Under the draft language, NGOs that received more than 20% of their funding from outside the country would be required to register with the government as foreign agents. After widespread protests, parliament ultimately dropped the bill – though its drafters made the point that it was based on the US law, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, which the Council has long advocated for narrowing. A full briefer on the bill was drafted by our partner, ICNL.
The war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia may soon come to close after two brutal years due to a November 2022 cessation of hostilities agreement. In late March, Secretary Blinken announced that the State Department had determined that crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing took place during the conflict and were perpetrated by both sides of the conflict. Some estimates said that the loss of life from the conflict neared 500,000 people, not including the immense suffering and tangential impacts of the war.
USAID Seeks Partners to Address Crises in Venezuela and the Broader Region
On March 17, 2023 at the Conference on Solidarity for Venezuelans, the United States announced more than $171 million in additional humanitarian and development funding for people affected by the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and the region. Additionally, USAID is working to address the root causes of migration from northern Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) and expand access to safe, dignified, legal labor pathways for northern Central Americans; and USAID is supporting on-going socio-economic integration in Brazil and Peru.
USAID is looking to collaborate with funders interested in addressing development challenges in one more of these countries to better coordinate existing funding, explore possibilities for future funding, exchange insights and expertise, and share networks. If you would like to explore opportunities for collaboration please contact Kenny Zoeller (firstname.lastname@example.org).