Donating money for humanitarian relief
Conflicts in other parts of the world during 2023 have aroused increased public interest and sympathy and in response the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has provided the ACNC with an updated advice about donating funds to charities that are seeking to deliver humanitarian relief.
DFAT has advised that anyone wanting to donate to the current conflict in Gaza, for example, should follow these guidelines:
i. Only donate to organisations that can safely deliver relief and manage the risks of operating in conflict zones;
ii. Exercise due diligence, and ensure that your chosen charity is running a verified appeal;
a. This can be achieved by cross-checking against the ACNC’s Charity Register.
iii. Be wary of scam websites, links in unsolicited emails, and cold calls;
a. Take the time to search the charity register before providing any bank details.
iv. Check to see whether the charity providing overseas relief is registered as a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), which is the peak body for Australian non-government organisations involved in international development and humanitarian action.
a. In overseas emergencies, ACFID members work closely with organisations to disburse funds in a responsible, efficient, and transparent manner.
b. ACFID members are bound by a strict code of conduct and are required to ensure that they operate with complete transparency and accountability.
While as a society we have been during 2023 deeply sympathetic to those affected by the current crises, it is paramount that we follow the advice and guidelines of government agencies such as DFAT before making any donations. This will ensure that all donations towards the cause are made to reputable organisations and will be used to alleviate suffering in accordance with Australian sanctions law.