Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) recently issued a statement appreciating the recent decision of the Government of Pakistan to allow INGOs, issued with non-approval letters for their registration, to operate until the final decision is made on their appeal.
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As of 11 January 2018, 11 PHF members, are in receipt of non-approval letters from the Ministry of Interior. PHF members have demonstrated strong support for the Government’s oversight of the NGO sector and its regulation, however, the lengthy approval processes and lack of clarity are restricting the NGOs ability to deliver valuable services to Pakistani Communities. The impact of non-approval of 11 PHF members is that more than USD 124 million funding committed to Pakistan will be lost and more than 8 million beneficiaries will not be reached in 2018. These 11 organisations employ directly over 800 staff and also work through several national partners and the cumulative result would be loss of thousands of jobs.
In 2017, PHF members (63) organisations collectively raised USD 438 million, reached 34 million people with humanitarian relief and development projects, together with the Government of Pakistan and the local partners. PHF member organisations employ over 6,000 people with only 0.5 percent being international staff. PHF members work in close coordination with the Government and receive Non Objection Certificates (NOCs) to implement projects. PHF member organisations have strict financial systems and submit regular progress and audit reports to the Government of Pakistan.
While majority of the PHF members that received non approval letters are in the appeal process, PHF requests the following from the Government of Pakistan:
- The appeal process to be fair and transparent.
- Organisations to be given the reasons for rejection in case their appeal is not approved.
- Issue directives to the line departments and provincial authorities for continued facilitation for the ongoing work and projects of these organisations.
PHF stated that it welcomes ongoing dialogue with the Ministry of Interior and transparency on the implementation of the INGOs registration policy and appeals’ process.
PHF further shared in its joint statement that it recognizes and respects the full authority of the Government of Pakistan to vet, register and monitor the service provision of the international NGOs. “Ultimately, our purpose is to work in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan, to ensure that services and assistance reach those most in need,” concluded the statement.