|In their own words||“A Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.”|
- In 2017, World Vision International’s total income was $2.8 billion; total expenses were $2.7 billion, of which $253 million was spent on the “Middle East/Europe.”
- World Vision’s donors include: Australia, Canada (CIDA), United Kingdom (DFID), United States (USAID), Germany (German Humanitarian Assistance), and the European Union.
- Australia is a major funder of World Vision. In 2017, World Vision Australia received AUD 47.5 million from the Australian government (DFAT).
- In 2017, World Vision UK received £8.7 million from the United Kingdom (DFID).
- According to its website, World Vision also “work[s] closely with various UN agencies including the World Food Program, UNHCR, the refugee agency and UNICEF on children’s issues.”
- According to Australian MP Michael Danby, AUD “5.7 million of Aussie taxes” were gifted to World Vision specifically “to spend on Palestinians.”
- World Vision solicits donations through its Child Sponsorship Program. According to an article in The New York Times entitled, “A World Vision Donor Sponsored a Boy. The Outcome Was a Mystery to Both,” this donation structure is misleading and ambiguous – despite the advertisement campaigns that lead donors to believe that they are funding one specific child and will thus develop a relationship with him/her, the funds are instead pooled and distributed to children in a specific region in need.
|Primary Donor||Cash||Non-Cash||Grand Total
|World Food Programme||26,570,222||151,782,493||178,352,715
|US Agency for International Development||71,742,851||13,300,589||85,043,440
|Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria||35,427,379||35,427,379
|AusAID, Australian-NGO Cooperation Program||26,365,926||26,365,926
|Percentage to Total Grant Portfolio||50%||97%||65%
*All amount are listed in USD
- Operates in approximately 100 countries worldwide throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
- Claims to be “an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.”
Activities in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza
- World Vision has five offices operating under the “country” name World Vision Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza (WV-JWG); WV-JWG does not exist as a separate financial and legal entity.
- Since 2015, financial reports for “World Vision Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza” have not been released.
- In 2015, WV-JWG had an income of $16.8 million (including $4.1 million in government grants).
- An Israeli NGO named World Vision (WV-IL) was registered with the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits (R.A. 580110641) in 1988. Although the relationship between the two organizations is unclear, WV-JWG apparently overlaps to some degree with the Israeli entity.
- According to filings with the Registrar, income to the Israeli entity is provided entirely by World Vision International and “local donations.” According to WV-IL’s 2016 financial report, revenue in 2016 amounted to $10.2 million (latest available; accessed July 2, 2018).
- World Vision describes itself as being “committed to advocating for the improved well-being of children living under Israeli occupation” and “believes that the Israeli occupation has negative spiritual and psychological effects on Palestinians and Israelis, especially the children.”
- Views “[a]dvocacy and communications… as a critical component of World Vision’s work in the region” and “advocates at the local, national, regional, and global levels,” including “building the capacity of local Palestinian NGOs, encouraging youth to document their history and surroundings, providing photography training to vulnerable communities across the West Bank and Gaza.”
- Correspondence between the Registrar and World Vision IL (available on file with NGO Monitor) reveals that for many years, the NGO failed to comply with information requests regarding financial records and audits relating to the use of its funds. It is unknown whether the NGO presented the missing documents to the Registrar.
- Several senior officials in the World Vision Israeli entity (information taken from documents provided by the Registrar) have ties to NGOs promoting BDS activities and demonization of Israel:
- Sami Khoury, listed as the financial manager in the latest available documentation, is a member of Sabeel’s General Assembly. Sabeel is a leader of church divestment campaigns, utilizing overtly antisemitic language to demonize Israel.
- Raffoul Rofa, a board member since 2008 and chair since 2009, is also the director of the Society of St.Yves, a highly politicized Catholic NGO that is among the leaders of demonization campaigns, through allegations of “discriminatory policies” and “breach[ing] international law.” Founder Michel Sabbah authored (with Naim Ateek of Sabeel and Atallah Hanna) the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, which promotes BDS in chuches, compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime, and denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel.
- Anton Asfar is a member of the WV-IL board of directors, and serves on the board of directors of St. Yves.
Arrest of manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza
- On June 15, 2016, Mohammad El-Halabi, the manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, was arrested by Israeli authorities.
- On August 4, the Shabak, the Israeli security agency, revealed El-Halabi to be a Hamas terrorist. He was accused of diverting approximately 60% of the World Vision’s Gaza budget to the terrorist organization for tunnels and fund other terrorist activity. The siphoned funds amount to approximately $50 million.
- According to the charges, El-Halabi created humanitarian projects and fictitious agricultural associations to act as a cover for the hijacking of monies and materials for Hamas. As of July 5, 2018, the trial is still ongoing.
- El-Halabi had previously worked for the United Nations Development Agency (UNDP) before being accepted by World Vision.
- In response, World Vision stated they were “shocked” to learn of these charges and that “The funds entrusted to us are spent…in ways that do not fuel conflict but rather contribute to peace.”
- Following the allegations against and arrest of El-Halabi, the Australian government announced the suspension of funding to World Vision projects in the West Bank and Gaza.
- Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) indefinitely froze $1.66 million that had been earmarked for the organization.
- World Vision Australia’s 2017 annual report states that “World Vision operations in Gaza, suspended in August 2016, remain on hold pending the outcome of an international audit which to date has found no evidence of diversion of funds.” World Vision laid off, at least temporarily, 120 employees from the office.
- According to World Vision, “Our work in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories remains one of the most challenging places where we operate, and one of the most difficult for children. That’s why we have been there for more than 40 years.”
- Promotes a highly politicized and biased agenda, placing sole blame for the continuation of the conflict on Israel and paying little attention to legitimate Israeli security concerns or Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians. This includes calling the security barrier “illegal,” ignoring the fact that the barrier was built in the wake of the second intifada in which Israeli civilians were the targets of near daily suicide bombings.
- World Vision Australia financially supports the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network, which was established “by church leaders who saw a particular role for Christians to advocate from a faith perspective about Palestinian human rights.” The Ecumenical Network “find[s] inspiration and direction from the Kairos Palestine document,” which denies Jewish historical connections to the land of Israel. The ecumenical network’s website features an “online resources” page, which includes texts that challenge Christian Zionism, as well as books and articles written by Naim Ateek, founder of anti-Israel NGO Sabeel, and others. Its website also promoted a May 16, 2014 event, organized by Friends of Palestine Western Australia, entitled “Commemorate Al Nakba: Protest Israeli Apartheid.“
- World Vision has partnered with Defense for Children – International. In October 2017, in honor of International day for Girl Child, World Vision JWG participated in a conference held by DCI-P.
- Several DCI-P board members have close ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP is a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
- Hashem Abu Maria, coordinator of DCI-P’s community mobilization unit, was hailed by the PFLP as a “leader” after his death in 2014. On September 23, 2014, DCI-P uploaded a video of a memorial service for Abu Maria, featuring a speech by DCI-P General Director, Rifat Odeh Kassis. The courtyard where the memorial service took place was decorated with PFLP flags, posters, and pictures of prominent PFLP figures, such as founder George Habash and former leader Ahmed Sa’adat. Nearly all of the audience are dressed in PFLP apparel.
- Endorsed the film, “With God on Our Side,” which attacks Christian support for Israel and presents an “anti-Jewish theology” and “biased misunderstanding of ‘Jews,’ ‘Zionist,’ and ‘Israel.’” The film was condemned for being “biased, simplistic, and factually incorrect.”
- Tom Getman, former head of Palestinian operations, has expressed virulently antisemitic hatred of the “Zionist enterprise” and its “idolatry.” In a video interview with Rev. Steven Sizer, Getman referred to members of Hezbollah as his “friends,” seeking their guidance regarding his position on Israel.
- Issued a joint statement on November 19, 2012, with 44 other highly politicized organizations, including American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Care International, DanChurchAid, Diakonia, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Save the Children, and Norwegian Refugee Council, calling on the international community to “apply immediate pressure on the government of Israel” and warning of a “widespread humanitarian disaster in Gaza brought on by a prolonged [Israeli] military occupation.”
- The organization presents biased and historically inaccurate description of the conflict in its “Brief History of the Region.” The “history” fails to mention the Arab invasion that led to the 1948 War of Independence. Similarly, the profile offers no background or context to the 1967 Six Day War that led to Israel’s control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip simply stating that, “In 1967 Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”
- During the 2014 Gaza war, World Vision called for a ceasefire, but stated that, “There is no sign at the moment that this latest cycle of violence will contribute anything towards ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and therefore will not bring security for Israel.”
- In 2010, reportedly financed a youth center named after Palestinian terrorist Abu Jihad, a founder of Fatah who planned numerous terrorist attacks against Israelis, including a 1978 bus hijacking, which resulted in the death of 37 civilians.
- In a July 14, 2004 op-ed in The Age (Melbourne), World Vision Australia’s Chief Executive Tim Costello described the security barrier as “part of the problem, not part of the solution,” evoking the highly politicized claim that the barrier “is reminiscent of the Cold War and Eastern Bloc oppression.” Costello’s comparison reflects the Palestinian propaganda effort to compare the Berlin Wall, designed to keep citizens from fleeing, with Israel’s security barrier, which protects Israel’s citizens.
Exploits the suffering of Palestinian children in order to launch political attacks against Israel
- World Vision promotes a very distorted narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict. After the 2014 Gaza War, World Vision published that they termed first person accounts of children in Gaza, which cannot be verified and depict Israel as the sole aggressor and erasing the context of Hamas terrorism. World Vision failed to publish any findings on the effects of the war on Israeli children.
- On April 4, 2013, published an article, using manipulative and emotionally charged language, claiming that Palestinian “children are afraid to go to class” and “don’t feel safe” in school due to “violence by Israeli soldiers, including… shooting, throwing of teargas canisters and spraying wastewater onto village lands [West Bank].”
- Sponsored ten Palestinian children in Gaza who were “given cameras to simply take photos of their lives,” claiming that the photos provide a “glimpse into the everyday lives of children – lives that are shaped and influenced by the ongoing Israeli blockade”.
- Issued a press release on November 22, 2012, alleging that, “Children in Gaza are particularly vulnerable” and that “the people of Gaza have nowhere to go to escape violence, due to continued restrictions on movement and ongoing Israeli blockade.”
- In an April 2012 article in the Huffington Post, president of World Vision, Richard Stearns, falsely accused Israel of restricting Palestinian Christians from attending Easter services in Jerusalem. Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren wrote an article in response, saying that, “Any Christian from the West Bank can reach Jerusalem on Good Friday and Easter” and that, “All allegations to the contrary are flagrantly untrue and represent a reckless attempt to defame the Jewish state.”
- World Vision is a member of UNICEF’s “Working Group ON Grave Violations against Children” aimed at undertaking “consolidated efforts to monitor and report on grave violations against children in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).” (Read NGO Monitor’s Report “UNICEF and its NGO Working Group: Failing Children.)
- States that the NGO Grassroots Jerusalem has “become one of World Vision’s strongest advocacy partners.” Also works with the NGO Ma’an Development Center. These NGOs are vocal supporters of BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions) campaigns and frequently uses demonizing rhetoric against Israel.
- World Vision Australia Works in partnership with Union of Agricultural Works Committee (UAWC), an organization that explicitly endorses BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel.
- Also partners with B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, HaMoked, Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Rabbis for Human Rights, and Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P).
- Member of Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA).
- Member of the “Displacement Work Group,” an initiative of Badil and OCHA to “monitor human rights violations (evictions, home demolitions, land confiscations) resulting in the displacement of people from their lands and communities,” along with: Addameer, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, AIC, ARIJ, Badil, BIMKOM, B’Tselem, CARE Intnl., DCI – Palestine section, Diakonia, EAPPI, Ir Amim, ICAHD, Maan Development Ctr, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Oxfam UK, Oxfam Solidarite – Belgium, PA Govt. Spokesperson, PCHR, RHR, Society of St. Yves, Save the Children UK, Shatil, UNFPA, Stop the Wall, ACRI, UNFPA, WCLAC, and Yesh Din.
Archive of Articles about World Vision
- Protecting charities against terrorism and fraud James Dunn, INTHEBLACK, August 1, 2017
- World Vision hazy on how it spent Gaza cash Anthony Klan, The Australian, December 5, 2016
- Hidden World Vision aid funds fuel claims former exec funnelled money to Hamas Anthony Klan, The Australian, December 30, 2016
- World Vision's Decades-Long Hate Campaign Against Israel The Tower, December 2016
- Time to scrutinize foreign aid The Australian, November 29, 216
- Israel Charges Aid Group's Gaza Branch Manager with Funneling Funds to Hamas Isabel Kershner and Diaa Hadid, The New York Times, August 4, 2016
- Response to Tim Costello’s article in the Australian Jewish News, 9 September 2016 Facebook
- Behind the Headlines: Hamas exploitation of World Vision in Gaza to support terrorism Israel MInistry of Foreign Affairs, August 4, 2016
- World Vision Needs to Quit Anti-Israel Battlefield Dexter Van Zile, The Commentator, August 22, 2015
- World Vision: Strategies for Fund-Raising and Support for Hamas Dexter Van Zile, JCPA publication, March 1, 2015
- SWC Condemns World Vision Official for False and Damaging Remarks About Israel Simon Wiesenthal Center press release, January 30, 2015