NGO: Denmark stopped funding due to Financial downturn

The economic slowdown has badly hurt not just businesses but also non-governmental organisations, as donations dry up.
“The situation is grave. In sending out 20 letters to companies, asking for opportunities to present our projects, we get one to two responses. Worse, the one to two letters do not guarantee a chance that we can meet them to sell our ideas,” Promboon Panitchpakdi, executive director of Raks Thai Foundation, a member of Care International, said last week. The large NGO recently saw the Danish government back out of two environmental projects.
After awhile, it received no interest from the private sector to join its Raks Thai Young Market Awards, where students are invited to propose their ideas on “social responsibility to the community”. A local company that had given it about Bt4 million to sponsor activities opted out this year due to the economic crisis.
“Most of our funds have come from abroad. Now that the economy has turned bad, many companies have expressed their intention to terminate their contributions as soon as the existing agreement expires,” he said.
Suntaree Hattee Sengking, manager of the Network of Isaan Women, said the network has no money to pay its four staffers. Its financial situation had never been worse, even though it has been active for more than 10 years, she said. Suntaree, the founder, has also served as the secretary-general of the NGO coordination committee for over three decades. By her estimate, more than half of the country’s 1,000 NGOs are now struggling financially. In six or 12 months, these NGOs will likely need a discussion as to whether their members will agree to serve without pay.
“The global economic climate is not good for Thai NGOs’ work. We have usually relied a lot on foreign funds,” she said.
NGOs could not count much on Thais either because people here had a habit of making merit to temples, not NGOs, she added.


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