Ford Foundation NGO Funding Update - Implementation of Post-Durban Guidelines is Slow and Lacks Transparency
As documented by NGO Monitor, the Ford Foundation provided funding to a number of human-rights based NGOs that engaged in demonization and anti-Israel activities. In response to the controversy, particularly after the 2001 Durban Conference, Ford Foundation President Susan V. Berresford initiated a review in December 2003 and pledged that Ford would act to ensure that funds no longer went to "groups that promote or condone bigotry or violence, or that challenged the very existence of legitimate, sovereign states like Israel."
Previous NGO Monitor updates have noted limited progress in fulfilling this declaration, with a number of highly politicized NGOs continuing to receive Ford funding. As the following update demonstrates, implementation is taking place, but slowly, and with very limited transparency.
1) On 20 December 2004, NGO Monitor drew Ford’s attention to the activities of the Al-Dameer Association of Human Rights, the recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation in 2004. Al-Dameer engages in anti-Israel demonization while condoning Palestinian terrorism. In addition it is a member of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), which played a key role at the 2001 Durban conference. NGO Monitor’s analysis was sent to the Ford Foundation, whose Assistant Secretary and Associate General Counsel, Nancy Feller replied on 3 December 2004:
"Thank you for your communication of November 24. As you know, we put such information through an established review process, which we will do in this case."
No further correspondence on this issue has been received.
2) The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network continues to receive grants. This EU-based organization has repeatedly launched politicized attacks on Israel and chose to highlight criticism of the assassination of Hamas terrorist leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin through links on its website to politicized Palestinian NGOs.
3) Ford’s list for 2004 indicates that it is no longer funding a number of highly politicized NGOs. These include the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel , MIFTAH and the Habitat International Coalition. Despite this, both PCHR and PHR-I continue to list the Ford Foundation as a major donor, and this contradiction must be addressed.
In addition, Ford’s funding guidelines have led to protests from a number of US universities such as Harvard. This issue is outside of NGO Monitor’s mandate, other than to note that the primary cause of the guidelines was Ford’s recognition of the abuses of funding by NGOs in the Durban framework, rather than other Ford grantees.
- Stephen M. Marks, "Colleges Battle New Grant Wording," Harvard Crimson, January 24, 2005.
- Ford Foundation Update (May 2004) – Ford Money Still Being Used for Anti-Israel Activities
- One-Sided Condemnation of Assassination of Hamas Leader Sheikh Yassin – NGO Monitor March 2004
- Ford Foundation NGO Policy – Update – NGO Monitor March 2004