A similar letter was sent to the Belgian consulate on July 24, 2011. As of September 27, 2011, NGO Monitor has not received a reply.
Dear Mr. Tousseyn,
As part of NGO Monitor’s research into governmental funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), we are preparing an update of our research on Belgian funding for NGOs active in Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Since we were unable to find details of this funding on the official website, we would appreciate your response to the following questions in order to assist our research:
1. Which NGO funding projects have been initiated by the Embassy in 2009-10?
(a) Which NGOs received financial support through Embassy funding in 2010?
(b) What were the amounts provided to each NGO recipient?
(c) For which projects were the funds earmarked?
(d) Is this information publicly available? If so – how can we retrieve it?
2. What is the role of the Embassy in implementing and evaluating NGO projects that are initiated outside of the Embassy?
3. What is the procedure for deciding which groups receive funding? How are on-going and completed projects evaluated?
We look forward to further discussion with you on these important issues, and would be interested in a meeting prior to completion of the research for our forthcoming publication.
Dear Ms. Henriques,
We would like to thank you for your letter of 24 July and based on your questions, we are pleased to provide you with the following information.
The Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs supports projects (and not NGO’s) via its Peacebuilding Service. The procedure of and criteria for this project funding are outlined in detail on the website of our FPS (http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/policy/policy_areas/peace_and_security/conflict_prevention_and_peacebuilding/). The Embassy as such does not initiate funding projects, nor does our FPS. Projects are presented to us by the implementing NGO’s, directly at our FPS, or indirectly via our Embassy. Different advices are taken into account before a funding support is granted: advice from our regional desks, our multilateral desks and also our diplomatic missions. Projects are evaluated on a regular basis according to the procedures described on the website of the Peacebuilding Service.
For 2009-2010 and even 2011 I have attached an overview of the projects that were and still are funded by the FPS Foreign Affairs. As soon as our Council of ministers gives its green light to a project, the decision is published on the website of the Council of Ministers, in a chronological order (www.presscenter.org).
We hope that this information will enable you to get a clear view of the projects Belgium is supporting in Israel, as it does in many other countries.
Sharing the same concern for transparency, I would like to seize this opportunity to get a clearer picture of the funding you are receiving. On your website a general overview is given on a few donors of NGO Monitor, for example the indirect funding of the Wechsler Family Foundation through REPORT. Could it be possible to have a more detailed breakdown?
Dear Mr. Tousseyn,
Thank you for your email with the enclosed table detailing Belgian funding for projects operated by Israeli NGOs, as well as the explanation of your funding procedures. This is most useful for our research.
As for your question regarding NGO Monitor’s funding, as stated in our financial reports – submitted in accordance with Israeli and American law – we do not receive any governmental funding. We would be happy to arrange for a meeting with you to discuss any additional questions, as well as the general matter of transparency and the role of NGOs in Israel.