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At last the Minister of Social Affairs takes the ‘right’ step

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After a long wait, the Minister of Social Affairs has issued a circular to regulate charity work and putting emphasis on charities that they submit studies and reports on their projects, for approval, complete with a bank statement showing transactions and transfers, including those coming from abroad.

The innovative Minister Fahd Al-Shariaan has also issued an important circular to all charities, especially those that are suspicious about the actions of their boards of directors, of the necessity of directing unconditional charitable work revenue inside the state to fund necessary service projects, according to a previous decision of the Council of Ministers.

The issuance of the latest decision came as a shock to the senior supervisors of the projects of charitable associations outside Kuwait, and to the army of their partners who often belong to the same religious-political party that runs these associations, knowing that these charitable associations belong to only two religious parties and the reports and scandals of the their countless fictitious projects involving huge money.

In light of this government awakening, we also call on the Minister of Social Affairs to monitor the fundraising activities which are spreading and increasing in the media and hold accountable those responsible, and punish their misguided claims that donating ten dinars, for example, will turn a person’s bad deeds into good, without evidence.

There is no mention of where the money that the charity society will collect from the gullible and those looking for heavenly reward go.

For half a century, many have exploited charitable work to meet their illegitimate ends, including personal and partisan enrichment, and the financing of suspicious foreign parties.

The testimony of former MP Ahmad al-Fadhl, in the National Assembly’s records, is the best evidence.

In one of them, he showed how charity societies were able in a relatively short period to collect more than 720 million dollars, of which only 10% was spent inside the country and the rest went where no one knows and for what purpose, and no one knows anything about it till today.

We also wish the honorable minister to prevent charity societies, whether openly or secretly affiliated with political or military organizations, Shiite or Sunni, and even those affiliated with clubs and associations of public benefit, to refrain completely from participating in any way in supporting any candidate or movement in the upcoming elections, and prevent spending their money on any kind of advertising and other things, and issue a stern warning, if proven guilty, they will face the music.

The sources of funding for religious political parties that use charity funds to support their candidates in the elections must also be monitored.

Other government agencies, as we and our colleague Badr Khaled al-Bahr demanded, must restrain the supervisors of the funds of the Ministry of Awqaf and its independent affiliates to stop their support for any electoral campaign, in addition to the necessity of seeking to impose censorship on the only charity society that is not subject to the supervision of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf