SWC to blacklist Chinese NGO APECF

Social Welfare Council today stated that it had started necessary process to blacklist the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation, a Chinese non-governmental organisation, for its lack of transparency and accountability.

SWC Director Madan Prasad Rimal said council would soon blacklist APECF for its non-cooperative attitude and lack of transparency in its functioning. “SWC has found faults with APECF, which has violated existing acts and regulations,” he said.

According to the regulatory body, APECF has not submitted its audit reports to the council after the Hong Kong-based INGO signed the general agreement and a project agreement with the council. “SWC has even failed to establish contact with APECF to invite it for wrap-up evaluation and closure of its bank accounts,” Rimal told this daily.

SWC also noticed that APECF had followed highly unorthodox approach while signing agreements with the council. “APECF has not reported to SWC about its activities after it signed general agreement on Lumbini Recovery Plan in March, 2012, and a project agreement on ‘Raise Rural Income in Mountainous Regions of Nepal’ in January, 2013, with SWC,” Rimal said. “Suspicions increased after APECF issued a notice in February seeking the cancellation of a half-million dollar project,” he said.

APECF Executive Vice-chairman Xiao Wuan, country representative Liu Jianli or its local partner NGOs did not respond to SWC despite several attempts, according to SWC. “The council has no information on what the Chinese NGO had done in Lumbini region or other project districts, including Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Rasuwa and Nuwakot.”

APECF had selected 17 VDCs in these four districts to run a year-long education and three-year long agriculture projects from 2013-2017, according to SWC’s record.

APECF, which once introduced former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal as one of its vice-chairmen from Nepal, had announced to build international airport, first class hotels, shopping malls, temples and cultural centres, a Buddhist university and a museum in Lumbini region after receiving SWC’s affiliation on March 25, 2012. In its letter to SWC, the controversial INGO had also listed Malaysia’s Rimbunan Hijau Group, London-based Sanbar Development Corporation and The Rockefeller Foundation in US as its shareholders.

Officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs and SWC said besides APECF they were also closely watching the activities of other I/NGOs in bordering areas. “Intelligence inputs being received from across the border have led us to monitor activities of more than 20 I/NGOs working in the bordering villages in central and western Nepal,” said high-level officials, who refused to share details on such organisations, citing the sensitivity of under-investigation matters.

Source: THT