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Ministry Of Public Administration Does Not Intend To Allocate The Funds Intended For NGOs To The Victims Of The Floods Instead

Those who expected the government to temporarily divert the millions it uses to fund its political allies in the (non-)governmental sector at a time of one of the biggest natural disasters were sadly mistaken. Instead, the exact opposite will happen. The Ministry of Public Administration, in response to a public question from the press, explained that it will step up its funding of non-governmental organisations, which have given the public the impression that they are, in fact, the “street promoters” of the political left.

“We will not cancel the call for tenders in question – on the contrary, strengthening NGOs and voluntary organisations in all Slovenian regions is urgently needed,” the Ministry of Public Administration said in the response. The public call for co-financing of a supportive environment for NGOs in the period between 2023 and 2027 will allocate an additional 6.25 million euros from the taxpayer’s coffers to these organisations.

The Ministry, headed by Sanja Ajanović Hovnik of the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje svoboda), also said in its reply that NGOs will play an important role “also in helping people on the ground and in repairing the damage caused by the recent floods. The call for a supportive environment also addresses the volunteering network, and the contribution of volunteers is invaluable in such emergency situations, as is being demonstrated these days by humanitarian organisations, all of which are also NGOs.”

But, despite the Ministry’s promises, these are far from being the main objectives pursued by the call for tenders. As they themselves state, the essence of the call is to bring the government and (non-)government sectors even closer together, to increase the political role of NGOs and to increase their public footprint and visibility. Volunteering is mentioned only at the end, and not in connection with alleviating the hardships of people whose lives have been made more difficult by the floods. NGOs could, for example, raise funds to finance the care of illegal migrants who have nothing in common with the flood victims. Volunteering could also mean funding protests or, in other words, public campaigns to raise awareness for certain select causes among the electorate.

And even so, the development of unspecified volunteering will receive by far the smallest share of the money in the overall call for tenders. The call documentation, which can be accessed HERE (in Slovenian), reveals how much money will actually go to these volunteers under point 7.

Namely, of the total 6.25 million euros that (non-)governmental organisations will be able to draw from the budget, volunteering will receive 660,000 euros over five years. This year, when volunteer assistance in the affected areas would be most important, only 45 thousand euros will be earmarked for this purpose. Set B, which relates to “regional hubs”, will receive 4.52 million euros. The data reveals that it is highly unlikely that a single euro from this call will be spent on helping to repair the damage caused by the floods.

Tens of millions for NGOs

The latest injection is just one in a series of financial injections that NGOs have received recently. The “Voice of the People” initiative (Glas ljudstva), currently made up of 109 different organisations, has so far received around 140 million euros for its work. Since the government of Robert Golob took office, some 40 million euros have flowed into their transaction accounts alone. Three more calls for tenders have subsequently been launched, totalling just under 11 million euros. This is, of course, in addition to the further 6.25 million euros that is the subject of this article.

Therefore, it is clear that the flood victims will never actually see any of this money. Exactly what the funds will be used for will be revealed shortly.

Žiga Korsika

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