‘Operatives Strangle CSOs’

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The Executive Director of the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) has attributed the entity’s failure to implement most of its projects in 2015 to “strangulation of civil society organizations (CSOs) by some operatives in the country.”

Although Director Roosevelt Woods did not name who might have caused the “strangulation,” he admitted that 2015 was challenging in terms of reaching out to targeted beneficiaries “because of conspiracy against the key organizations and that no CSO can function effectively without the required funding.”

According to Mr. Woods, FIND’s annual progress report in 2015 was “unprecedented because every year, the organization implemented at least five projects, but due to budgetary shortfall like government and with the Ebola outbreak in the country, we were unable to implement even two of any of our targeted projects.”

Mr. Woods made the disclosure on Tuesday when he spoke to a cross-section of reporters at his Ashmun Street office in Monrovia.

“We are disappointed over a scheme of marginalizing and to stop a flow of fund to the CSOs, and our greatest disappointment is with the international community, which continues to hugely support government and pay blind eyes on strengthening the CSOs,” Woods declared.

According to him, Liberia’s existence is for all to enjoy lasting peace; and to arrive at that, Woods said there must be a strike in balancing the support of CSOs alongside donor funding for government, and called for the mode of advocacy to change.

Woods has meanwhile reported that FIND was able to continue the monitoring of prison facilities, courtrooms and police stations across the country, engaging local actors and the gender based violence division at the Ministry of Gender and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) human rights in providing trainings to advocates.

“Even though there have always been inconsistencies in the advocacy carried out by CSOs due to the influence from government as well as limited funding, FIND has derived a strategy of finding more time to work with the locals,” Woods disclosed.

He said if the consciousness of those in the rural areas is enlightened, it will help them hold our leaders accountable on the promotion of human rights, transparency and good governance.

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