19% of NGOs receive foreign grants
According to the Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Iryna Bekeshkina 19% of the organizations involved in human rights work or monitoring the authorities work with funding from foreign grants.
“I would like to dispel the widespread idea that the entire civic sector in Ukraine lives off “western” grants. Fairly detailed research by the Centre for Independent Political Research found that 19% of NGOs are supported by foreign grants. These are primariy organizations involved in human rights work, monitoring of the authorities, media organizations, i.e. those that cannot find financial support in Ukraine”.
She stressed that those working with the disabled, people with large families, the elderly, people with illnesses, are helped by local businesses, and although difficult, that money can be found. She says, however, that such businesses would be scared to finance organizations which monitor the activities of the authorities or analyze how laws function in the country. People in Ukraine are ready to give their money to people they feel sorry for, but there is no tradition for giving for protection of rights. In the Foundation’s survey, only 10% answered yes to the question whether they would give money to a party which would defend their interests.
Ms Bekeshkina pointed out also that although there are more than 50 thousand registered NGOs, expert assessments suggest that only around 5 thousand are actually functioning. There are also groups and movements which are not registered, but which function at the local level.