The NGO Regulatory Authority (NGORA) has said that it will ensure that NGOs in the country have capacity in order to have improved service delivery. NGORA CEO Edward Chileka-Banda said this on Monday in Mzuzu where he held a breakfast meeting with NGOs based in the northern region.

Chileka-Banda added that the NGO Fund that has been established is one critical component of the capacity building for NGOs. He cited the 2023 NGO Sector Report which highlighted some of the capacity gaps within the sector. He elaborated that some NGOs are facing challenges in coordination and financial challenges leading to their closure.

“Some development partners have raised concerns regarding low capacity within the sector. The Fund is therefore governments response to strengthen the sector to ensure that we have strong implementer because NGO are implementers. We will be supporting them to make sure that they provide better services. I want therefore to state that we are set as government to support the sector,” he said.

Chileka-Banda also stated that the provision of partnership within the NGO Act will also help to build the capacity of NGOs, especially in view of the localisation agenda.

“There is a 30% partnership requirement stating that programs by international NGOs are to be implemented by local NGOs and if the local NGOs are struggling, they may not benefit from that. The localisation agenda which is an international agenda by the UN to make sure that local communities and countries take ownership of development work will therefore assist these struggling NGOs,” he said.

The CEO then called upon NGOs to be compliant in order to allow the Authority to ensure that issues of money laundering and terrorism financing are dealt with.

“We are asking NGOs to make sure that compliance doesn’t become an issue. We have unfortunately seen a number of NGOS struggling to comply and some just do not want to comply. NGOs that are compliant are in essence able to insulate themselves from the vices of money laundering and terrorism financing so that the money that comes into Malawi is clean,” he said.

Presidential advisor on NGOs Martha Kwataine concurred with the CEO by adding that compliance will assist NGOs to get more funding. She also stated that if NGOs are established with the intention of providing support and developing the country, issues of non-compliance will be non-existent.

“NGOs are supposed to help government fill a particular gap. Everyone has a right to establish an NGO but it must come from the intention of helping humanity,” she said.

NGORA has established an NGO Fund with the aim of building the financial and institutional capacity of NGOs to promote project sustainability through Government-NGO partnerships. The Fund will also provide seed money to selected NGOs and build the capacity of potential CBOs to graduate into NGOs.

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