August 19 is World Humanitarian Day, another reminder of the need to alleviate suffering. This year, more than ever, we look to four countries on the brink of famine - Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Unfortunately, for a significant number of U.S. humanitarian aid and development organizations working abroad, the closure of their U.S. bank accounts and the inability to send wire transfers in a timely manner have a significant impact on their ability to fund critical programs in these and other countries in need.
As described in our February 2017 report on Financial Access for U.S. Nonprofits, "the human costs of NPOs' financial access difficulties and continued inaction must be recognized. When programs are delayed or cancelled because of the inability to transfer funds, peace is not brokered, children are not schooled, staff is not paid, hospitals lose power, the needs of refugees are not met and in the worst cases, people die."
Earlier this year, the World Bank convened a multi-stakeholder dialogue aimed at crafting solutions to the problem of financial access for nonprofits. Out of this, four workstreams were developed. Although the work is currently U.S.-focused, it will soon broaden to a global scope, as nonprofits around the world face these same difficulties. We are actively seeking participation from nonprofits, financial institution and government stakeholders.
For more information or to get involved with the World Bank workstreams, contact the Charity & Security Network using the form on our website.