Who is hijacking LGBTI fund ? Pahichan Media initiates investigation

Kathmandu (Pahichan) June 16 – The government figures show that Nepal receives a lot foreign assistance through national and international non-governmental organizations. Being specific, non-governmental organizations have signed the contract of 37 billion in this fiscal year, according to Social Welfare Council.

But, question is: where does money goes? According to official figures, forty international organizations have received 24 billion and national organizations have received 12 organizations. The amount this year is equal to previous years.

Those organizations are working in collaboration with Social Welfare Council. Most of the projects are signed in reconstruction of earthquake, education, health, women and children. Local levels are mandated to look after the projects that are under 2 million and those projects worth above 2 million will be handled by Social Welfare Council. Council does not have the record of those projects which are below 2 million. After the earthquake, foreign assistance had increased,” said Deputy Director Ramraj Bhattarai said, “Now, it seems that it is decreasing.”  He said as the project agreement is underway the number could increase.”

Altogether, 642 non-government organizations have signed 763 projects till May to bring 12 billion rupees. Last year, 723 non-government organizations have signed 1181 projects to bring 17 billion foreign assistant. Along with foreign assistances, non-governmental organizations also collect internal resources. Last year, 23 organizations have collected more than two billion rupees and this year 762 organizations have collected 39 million rupees.

Foreign Assistance for LGBTI community

According to Deputy Director Ananda Thapa, international non-governmental organizations have not invested for the welfare of gender and sexual minority. There are not direct contract mentioning this community but they are spending money under other headings. The number of organizations who are receiving support for LGBTI community is a gradually increasing but it has not been fruitful. Mainly, Blue Diamond Society, Mitini Nepal and Sudur Paschim Samaj are receiving foreign assistance in the name of LGBTI community.

According to Bhattarai a contract of 20.6 million has already been signed for the human rights, health of gender and sexual minority. Mitini Nepal has received 5.02 million for LGBTI and Sudur Paschim has brought 5.07 million. BDS has brought 2 crore 37 lakh and 14 thousand rupees.  Those organizations, however, have not signed any contracts about the collection of internal resources. The figure shows that there are very few budgets for this community which comes through official channel. However, there has not been investigation on the budget which comes through backdoor channels.

There is a tendency of brining budget to this community through informal channels and spend them without any transparency.  That is why budget has not reached to the target group. Members of this community are in clear need of support but most of the budgets are not being spent for them. So, time has now come to investigate the budget which is being misused.

Often, it seems that big organizations hire consultant to work for the LGBTI but their works and tasks are never made transparent. Not only, are non-governmental organizations, even the UN bodies not utilizing the resources allocated to this community. There are certain organizations and stakeholders who are working for the welfare of this organization with a low budget but those organizations never consult with those organizations that have expertise on LGBTI issues. There is tendency of hijacking the budget. That is why the status of LGBTI community is becoming pathetic day by day.

Huge money comes in the name of LGBTI community but they never reach to genuine stakeholders. The trend shows that many organizations bring budget under the vague heading of inclusion and they allocate certain budget for LGBTI community but such budget never reach to target community. This is happening because there are not any state mechanisms who can oversee the spending of those budgets.  There is tendency of providing resources to those who are close to donor agencies instead of finding out genuine organizations working for the welfare of LGBTI community.

On the other hand, most of budget will be spent in salary and administrations. There is a need of making foreign assistance transparent. That is why Pahichan Media has started the investigation of foreign assistance that comes under the LGBTI community.

We will soon get all the details through the issue of Right to Information Act. We are of the view that the foreign assistance that comes in the name of LGBTI community should be spent for the targeted community. The current pattern shows that LGBTI community is completely excluded from the support that comes in the name of this community.