Be Vigilant When Providing Aid Where Terrorists Operate

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, recently issued advice reminding charities to demonstrate extra caution with their funds when providing humanitarian aid in areas where terrorist groups operate.

Spurred by terrorist attacks like the September 2013 Westgate shopping centre attack in Nairobi which claimed 72 lives, the Charity Commission is urging charities working in such areas to be aware that their funds may be diverted and used by terrorists. This especially applies to charities currently working in Syria and the surrounding countries.

Safeguarding employees and capital is not just good sense—it is the law. Under section 15(2) of the Charities Act 2011, charities are legally obligated to manage risks to staff, funds and aid materials.

Trustees must also ensure their charity does not violate the Terrorism Act 2000 by accidentally funding terrorist acts. Be vigilant—perform thorough due diligence and extensive monitoring with all funds given to business partners. Contact the authorities immediately if you suspect you have inadvertently financed terrorist activity.

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