Resources

Two-Thirds of U.S. Nonprofits Have Financial Access Difficulties

Date: 
February 1, 2017

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Washington, February 7, 2017 –Two-thirds of U.S.-based nonprofit organizations (NPOs) working abroad are facing problems accessing financial services, according to a comprehensive report released today by the Charity & Security Network. 

The report, Financial Access for U.S. Nonprofits, is based on the first-ever empirical study of the global phenomenon known as “derisking,” as it relates to U.S.-based NPOs. Derisking refers to financial institutions terminating or restricting business relationships to avoid rather than manage risk. The report also reflects information from numerous focus group sessions and interviews with stakeholders over the last year. It outlines and analyzes the scope, frequency, and prevalence of various financial access problems, including delayed wire transfers, account refusals and closures, and unusual additional documentation requests. The report also provides recommendations to address these challenges. Author Sue E. Eckert of the Center for New American Security noted, “At a time of unprecedented need in regions of conflict, humanitarian crises, and natural disaster, American charities’ efforts to save lives and prevent the further erosion of democracy and human rights are being stymied unnecessarily. The data are clear: there is a serious and systemic problem that must be addressed.”

FATF’s 2016 Evaluation of the U.S. - Summary and Analysis

Date: 
December 2, 2016

The Financial Action Task Force released the results of its Mutual Evaluation of the United States on Dec. 1, 2016, assessing compliance with its 40 anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards, including Recommendation 8 (R8) on nonprofit organizations (NPOs). While the evaluation found the U.S. to be “largely compliant” with R8, it noted that R8 was revised in June 2016. The evaluation is based on the prior version.

Global Terrorism Index 2016

Date: 
November 17, 2016

ISIL foreign fighters who have gone to Syria tend to have high levels of education but low incomes. One of the reasons fighters join is a feeling of exclusion in their home countries, according to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index (GTI), produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The report adds that half of all plots with an ISIL connection were conducted by people who have had no direct contact with ISIL. 

Since 2006, 98 percent of all deaths from terrorism in the U.S. have resulted from attacks carried out by lone actors, according to the GTI. The report notes that 76 countries improved their scores in the GTI, while 53 countries deteriorated. As many countries experienced record levels of terrorism, the overall GTI score deteriorated by 6 percent from the previous year. 

Banking Woes of NPOs Highlighted in World Bank/ACAMS De-Risking Report

Date: 
October 18, 2016

The financial access problems faced by nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are a significant part of the findings from a workshop hosted last summer by the World Bank and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). The report, Stakeholder Dialogue on De-risking: Findings and Recommendations, summarizes the main findings of the May 31-June 1 meeting as well as the recommendations made by participants. These recommendations are simply a reflection of the discussion rather than any endorsement by the World Bank or ACAMS. 

Mapping Listed Terrorist Groups and Humanitarian Crises

Date: 
August 1, 2016

The U.S. government maintains two lists containing entities (State's Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) & Treasury's Specially Designated Nationals (SDN)) it believes engage in terrorist activity. It is illegal to provide these groups with material support which is defined broadly in the law to include tangible goods like food or clothing, medical services, and training in conflict mediation. 

But the laws designed to starve the terrorists also make it nearly impossible for humanitarian actors to reach or offer assistance to civilians living in territory controlled by a blacklisted group. That means that in conflict zones or natural disaster areas where these groups are active, providing medical services or distributing non-medicinal necessities such as clean water, tents, blankets, food can be prohibited.

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