Afghanistan Tells 149 Foreign, Local NGOs to Close Down

A man receives shelter and food supplies during a humanitarian aid mission in Afghanistan. Four foreign aid groups and 145 local non-governmental organizations have been ordered to shut down their operations in the country. Photo by: isafmedia / CC BY isafmediaCC BY

Afghanistan has ordered four foreign aid groups and 145 local aid organizations to shut down their operations in the country, according to a spokesperson for the economy ministry.

The groups are being told to cease their engagement in Afghanistan for failing to submit reports about their finances and budgets, Sediq Amarkhil said, according to Reuters. The ruling was passed by a government-backed commission that monitors aid groups as part of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s anti-corruption drive, the news agency says.

Amarkhil said the ruling has immediate effect.

“The commission has decided the organizations should be dissolved because they have not submitted reports to the Ministry of Economy for the past two years,” he explained, adding that Afghan law requires all non-governmental organizations to submit reports detailing their funding and projects every six months to the economy ministry.

The NGOs being ordered to shut down did not submit their reports despite receiving letters of warning from the economy ministry, Amarkhil said.

The Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, an umbrella network of aid groups in Afghanistan, were given a list of NGOs affected by the decision, the group’s director said, according to Reuters. Laurent Saillard said they have no objections to the groups’ closure.

“The government is simply implementing the law. We don’t even know if some of these NGOs on the list even exist at all,” he explained, adding that none of the NGOs on the list are under ACBAR.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.