NGO collecting cash instead of data?


Express May 23, 2010

LAHORE: The Punjab Health Department has cancelled a contract with an NGO, 'Nai Zindagi' after a revelation of Rs 183 million embezzlement by the organisation. The NGO is also refusing an audit of its spending.

According to documents available with Express News, the Health Department had signed a contract with Nai Zindagi on April 1st, 2009.

According to the contract, the NGO was assigned to collect  data of people addicted to Morphine. Under the PC-1, about Rs 965 million were allocated for the project spreading over five years.

The Health Department has constituted a five-member committee to probe the issue and report in 15 days. The World Bank has also been asked to halt funding to the NGO.

However, Nai Zindagi Executive Director Tariq Zafar says the NGO is working in compliance with UN and World Bank rules. Zafar rejected allegations of embezzlement, saying that the audit of the trust is done on annual basis.

COMMENTS (3)

Patrick O'Gorman | 11 years ago | Reply Dear Editor, I have posted the below to Pakistan Criminal records. However, I believe it is better placed with your journalists. I am concerned about the lack of objectivity and thoroughness of your assigned journalist. In this case, either the whole international community (which has recognised the significant work achieved by Nai Zindagi in prevention of transmission of HIV among street-based drug users) or many people in Pakistan - UNAIDS, UNDP, The Pakistani CCM are wrong or the recent incumbant in Punjab government health department are wide of the mark. I know who my money is on!!!. I would suggest you gather your team and provide some basic motivation to them to work harder in unveiling facts around stories before submitting sensational and erroneous copy. Yours sincerely Patrick O'Gorman here is what I previously wrote. Recently, I was flying to Pakistan, (I travel there 2 or 3 times a year), and a fellow traveller (journalist) decried the quality of reporting in Pakistani newspapers. I took issue with this and said that since 1999, when I first visited Pakistan, I had seen an increasing maturity in Pakistani media. This article, however, vindicates my fellow traveller statement. The lack of evidence presented, the stereotyping of NGOs, the lip service paid to government statements does not show this writer in a good light. What was he thinking? Does he not know that this is shooting himself in the foot? The world looks on at Pakistanis (wrongly, I believe), as a corrupted people. I have received nothing less than impeccable honesty during my many visits, wonderful hospitality and “long forgotten (elsewhere)” courtesy. Could this journalist not have done some basic investigation of the story before he committed it to press? Please, not everything The Punjab Health Department does is blessed by God. I suspect, the journalist, (if he does some basic insight and investigation) will discover that this action is a result of crass bullying and threats. So some maturity and reflection before sending off copy, please
Wajdan | 11 years ago | Reply Although it might not be right to judge someone before any verification just would like to ask one question if the monitoring is done and the funds were released it means that the reports were satisfactory and since the Govt. department is only to blame so keeping the tradition alive instead of accepting their mistake the Govt. has blamed the NGO. Did not get satisfied by this one sided story and would like to know more before this can be judged. Like Mr. Fido Dido said is it important to save humanity or is it important to cut off the only hope these people have and watch them die infact watch out country die. if I am not wrong and as indicated by Mr. Fido Dido too, if this is the same NGO announced as having the biggest rehabilitation program in Pakistan by Al Jazeera then I think there is something else going on may be the governement wants to prove something else which they couldn't do so decided to cancel the contract, May be the governement wanted to keep the money for themselves who knows may be I am wrong but what if I AM RIGHT just think for a minute should we like always believe what the governement tells us and take away the only hope we have left to save our country. I think this thinking of everyone that "NGO's are only collecting cash" might be a bit harsh by saying this you are turning your back on those NGO's who are doing a good job (like Nai Zindagi proven by footage on Al Jazeera and Dawn News). I am sure the common man would understand this and give NGO's a chance and they will protest against the right of Govt. to cancel any contrcat as and when they please. So please think about the people who will suffer the most due to this negative step of the Government. The governemnt should try to understand that they are challenging the authority of an institution like "WORLD BANK" and what was the Governemnt doing all these five years what about all the staff were they all sleeping? I am sure that there is someother side to this story which should be heard..............!
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