On August 4, 2016, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced that Mohammed El-Halabi, manager of the Gaza operations of the international humanitarian NGO World Vision, funneled 60% of the World Vision Gaza budget to the terrorist group Hamas. The Israeli indictment and media reported that these funds were used in the construction of Hamas tunnels, military installations, and other terrorist activities.
As a result of the Israeli investigation, several donor countries have suspended their funding to World Vision, pending the outcome of the trial. In August 2016, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom halted funding.
From 2008 through 2020, the Canadian government has donated and allocated $175,550,804 (CAD) to World Vision Canada for humanitarian projects around the world. These include funds designated projects in war zones such as Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Yemen. As NGO Monitor cautioned in its 2015 book, Filling in the Blanks, humanitarian efforts in war zones are inherently susceptible to extortion and theft by violent actors, including terrorist organizations.
In addition to support for humanitarian efforts in these countries, World Vision Canada donates funds to World Vision Jerusalem-West Bank-Gaza (JWG), contributing $19,492,494 (CAD) from 2004-2015. Therefore, it appears World Vision JWG benefits from indirect Canadian government funding.
Additionally, World Vision Canada maintains several programs in the West Bank. According to World Vision Canada’s own descriptions, these programs focus on health, hygiene and education.
In its 2004/5 annual report, World Vision JWG, reported a gift of $17,500 (USD) from the Canadian International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN). In 2014, the Canadian government designated the group as a terrorist organization, due to its Hamas funding activity.
IRFAN and World Vision International were amongst a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that signed a 2009 statement criticizing Israeli security policy toward Gaza.