Controversial NGO Soliciting Disaster Funds

A controversial NGO whose presence in Cambodia raised ques­tions among authorities and children’s rights workers last year is urging people to donate money for the tsunami relief efforts through alternative channels.

Global Protect All Children, whose founder has been troubled by accusations of espionage and racketeering, recommended do­na­tions be given to a series of aid groups in an e-mail to diplomats and journalists, received Jan 9.

It identified the aid groups as “alternatives to the corporate relief agencies who will use your money for ‘administrative costs.’”

Global-PAC urged US citizens to donate to Global Green­grants Fund, which it says will send the money directly to Indo­ne­sia.

The NGO, based in the US state of Colorado, stated on its Web site that it aims to enable people in the world’s poorest regions to help their com­munities. Grants be­­tween $500 to $5,000 are given to local groups. The Web site encourages individuals and foundations to write checks to the fund and make gifts of stock and appreciated real estate. It also encourages people to include the Fund in their wills.

Global-PAC also recommends donating money to the East Timor Ac­tion Network, an organization en­dorsed by left-wing US academic Noam Chomsky, according to ETAC’s Web site.

The network is sending funds to Acehnese groups who usually work with children and encourages credit card donations, the ETAC Web site says.

In June 2004, Global-PAC re­vealed it was tracking suspected pedophiles in Sihanoukville, al­though the group’s anonymity has raised suspicion in the NGO community. In November 2004, Jack Sand­ers, Global-PAC found­er, was named in the New Zealand Herald newspaper as the source of media allegations that New Zea­land’s Security Intelligence Service had spied on indigenous Maori networks.

Several Global-PAC members bore publicized links to a diplomatic scandal in the Pacific island of Nauru in 2003. At the time the island’s leaders called Sanders a scam artist and a spy. Gerald Thorns, Global-PAC executive dir­ector, declined to answer e-mail questions about the group’s aid advice Monday, referring inquiries to a spokesperson in Bangkok who did not answer calls Monday.

 

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