Azerbaijan Toughens Laws on Foreign Fund Allocation to NGOs

The Cabinet of Ministries has modified the procedure for foreign donors to obtain the right to give grants in the territory of Azerbaijan, APA reports.

The Cabinet of Ministries has modified the procedure for foreign donors to obtain the right to give grants in the territory of Azerbaijan, APA reports.

According to the new regulations, foreign donors must obtain the right to give grants in the territory to Azerbaijan for each specific grant agreement. The procedure entails gaining approval from several governmental institutions.

In order to obtain the rights to give grants, foreign donors will have  to  obtain the approval from the Ministry of Finance, which will evaluate the financial and economic feasibility of the grant.

However, prior to that, depending on the nature of the project, a foreign donor must address the Ministry of Economy in case of commercial organisations; to the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations in  case of religion association; and to the Ministry of Justice, in relation to non-commercial organizations and individuals within 30 days from from the date of signing the “single window” agreement.

It is not the first time that Azerbaijan has modified its regulations regarding the right of foreign donors to give grants in the territory of Azerbaijan and in the last few years the Azerbaijani Government has made it tougher for foreign organizations to operate on its territory.

Since 2015 it became illegal to sign a contract with foreign donors which haven’t received the right to grant funds. The ban was one of the reasons why the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has put Azerbaijan’s membership under review. This move has tough consequences on NGOs, which were operating with the financial aid of foreign donors.

The legislation has been under revision over the last few months and the procedure to obtain grants for foreigner was somewhat simplified.

In January 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted two decisions introducing changes to the Rules for Registration of Grant Agreements (Decisions) and the Rules for Foreign Donors’ Acquisition of the Right to Give Grants on the Territory of Azerbaijan Republic. The decision followed a Presidential Decree on Simplification of Registration of Foreign Grants in Azerbaijan issued in October 2016.

Ana səhifəNewsAzerbaijan Toughens Laws on Foreign Fund Allocation to NGOs