Chart: How Many Children Could be Helped if Frozen Charitable Funds Were Released?

November 9, 2009

The Office of Foreign Assets Control report for 2009 indicates up to $19.8 million in assets have been frozen for individuals and entities on its watchlist. There is no public information on how much of that comes from charities, but news reports indicate at least $7 million in U.S. charitable assets are frozen.

Instead of the money remaining frozen at Treasury, the money could be used to help millions of children and families in need. As an example, we used statistics from the US Fund for UNICEF* to illustrate how frozen funds could be used for immunizing children, clean water and shelter for displaced families.

Selective Enforcement: Charities Targeted for Harsher Sanctions

June 29, 2009

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated nine U.S. charities as supporters of terrorism, seizing all property, blocking all funds and effectively closing all programs. In contrast, the for-profit corporations Halliburton and Chiquita Brands International have only had to pay fines for very similar alleged violations, and their operations have not been interrupted or shut down. There has been no explanation from OFAC.

Analysis: 2006 Treasury Dept. Voluntary Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines

May 21, 2009

On Sept. 29, 2006 the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released updated Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-Based Charities, its third version of recommendations for charities since 2002. The new Guidelines reflect Treasury consideration of public comments on a December 2005 revision of the original Guidelines, published in 2002. A new Annex provides an unconvincing explanation of Treasury's perception that terrorist abuse of charities is a substantial problem. The 2006 Guidelines place greater emphasis on their voluntary nature, saying charities should apply them to a degree commensurate with their risk of "abuse and exploitation" by terrorists. However, the fundamental problems that lead the nonprofit sector to call for withdrawal of the Guidelines remain unchanged.