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President Karzai Announces a Taskforce To Study Policy Regarding NGOs
Released by Office of the Spokesperson to the President


Presidential Palace, Kabul: H.E. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, called a meeting this morning with ambassadors and representatives from the United Nations and donor countries based in Kabul, to consult them about the NGO Law that was considered by the Cabinet of the Government of Afghanistan on 28 March 2005.

Earlier, representatives of donor countries had raised concerns regarding article 8 of the legislation which provides that NGOs shall not bid for Afghan Government-sponsored project contracts. This provision in the NGO Law reflected the serious concern within the Government and the Afghan society at large, that some NGOs were responsible for widespread corruption and misuse of public funds, which must be stopped.

At this morning's meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to fight corruption and the misuse of public money both within and outside the Government. The President praised the good work of those NGOs who worked in Afghanistan, consistent with their true humanitarian and developmental objectives, to serve the Afghan people. However, the President also voiced his strong concerns that the so-called NGOs were responsible for squandering the precious resources that Afghanistan received in aid from the international community. "We had a responsibility", the President said, "towards the Afghan people, as well as the tax-payers in the donor countries, to stop NGOs that are corrupt, wasteful and unaccountable."

The President and the gathered representatives of the donor countries agreed to establish a joint task-force to examine the issue and submit recommendations in no more than a month. The President nominated Mr Mohammad Amin Farhang, the Minister of Economy, Mr Haneef Atmar, the Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, and Mr Umer Daudzai, the Chief of Staff of the President's Office, to represent the Afghan Government in the task-force. The donor countries will also nominate their representatives to the task-force.

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