Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development

Comité catholique contre la faim et pour le développement - Comments

3) The financial resources

-The CCFD benefits from alms collected during Lent, and so does not depend on institutional agencies’ subsidies. “At first sight, Myriam Donsimoni notices in her statistical study, the geographical distribution of the CCFD funds confirms that of public development assistance”. But “a negative relation appears between both, indicating that the more governmental aid is important, the less a country is likely to see the CCFD get involved”.
-Aid Watch assumes that the CCFD has had annual reports for an internal use since it was created. From a financial perspective, the association has made efforts of transparency by publishing its budget global figures. But as far as activities are concerned, it remains very incomplete. In his book, a former secretary general of the CCFD, Bernard Holzer, acknowledges a certain opaqueness due, according to him, to three factors: the refusal to insist on accountability from its Southern partners, for fear of humiliating them; the wish not to disclose the more risky operations, considering the difficulty of explaining to the public the field-work in communist regimes such as Vietnam or Cuba; a purely accountant vision of its projects where the only important question is that of its financial validity, i.e. the ratio cost/quality. In spite of the political attacks it suffered in the 1980s, or maybe because of them, it still does not circulate annual reports corresponding to an international NGO with a budget of tens of millions of euros. The 2001 annual report announces 538 projects, but only 14 of them are briefly mentioned. In fact, unlike other charities which are far more dependent on institutional backers and therefore, which have to be more accountable, the CCFD does not need to explain its actions as it is based on a “captive market”, i.e. Catholics who give money at Church. That is why it remains difficult to appreciate the Committee’s impartiality regarding assistance to the victims.