DUBAI / WAM
Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, revealed the ministry will apply new procedures to increase the licencing of Non-Benefit Public Associations, NGO’s and Social Solidarity Funds (Takaful).
This is being done under the Federal Law No. 35 of 2020 concerning the ratification of some provisions of the associations and double the number of declared associations in the UAE.
She stated the ministry’s role in coordinating and unifying social work all over the UAE in collaboration with local authorities that related to supervising and monitoring NGO’s not just at federal level alone. Such a step facilitates ministry’s efforts to protect this sector from risks of exploitation and achieve the leadership’s directives to coordinate joint goals, objectives and visions in support of the sustainable social development process of the ministry.
Buhumaid noted that the Ministry of Community Development was very keen to organise workshops and awareness programmes targeting regulatory authorities responsible for overseeing and monitoring Non-Profit Associations. This is a part of the ministry’s efforts and vision to increase the awareness of the international standards to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and weapons proliferation as issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
She revealed that the total number of Non-Benefit Public Associations, NGO’s and Social Solidarity Funds in the UAE reached 501. In contrast, the number of declared Non-Profit Associations, NGO’s and Social Solidarity Funds by the Ministry reached 274, including those associations and NGO’s who reconciled their status under Decree No. 35 of the Federal Law 2020 divided as follows: 222 Non-Benefit Public Associations, 34 NGO’s and 18 social solidarity funds. She also referred to the joint efforts between the ministry and local authorities on the reconciliation status of the other associations that are locally licenced. Their supervision and monitoring procedures must be implemented through memorandums of understanding between the ministry and competent authorities.
According to the registered figures at the Ministry of Community Development records, the 222 Non-Benefit Public Specialised Associations are divided in seven classifications as follows: public and cultural service associations reached (88), professional associations (37), folkloric arts associations (29), humanitarian services (30), clubs and communities (16), theatres (14) and finally women’s associations (8) all over the UAE.
The number of NGOs reached 34, while the social solidarity funds reached 18.
The Ministry of Community Development inspects and analyses the financial statements and final accounts of Non-Benefit Pubic Associations on an annual basis to identify the sources of income, subsidies and donations received and disbursements. The ministry supervises and monitors the annual meetings of Non-Benefit Public Associations general assemblies to discuss the financial and administrative reports of the associations and organise the elections of the boards of directors. The ministry also implements field visits to non-benefit public associations to determine their compliance with the law and regulatory decisions.
The ministry’s task is to supervise Non-Benefit Public Associations and NGOs, issue certificates for opening bank accounts in banks and financial institutions, approve the signatures of those authorised people to manage and operate these accounts under the statutes of NGOs and Non-Benefit Public Associations, continuously ensure that banks and financial institutions do not permit Non-Benefit Public Associations and NGOs to receive any funds from outside the UAE through their accounts until they are approved by the ministry.