The U.S. Senate Finance Committee said in a new report that World Vision, a humanitarian aid non-profit organization, should have known that a group it funded took part in terrorism activities.
“Based on the evidence presented, we conclude that World Vision had access to the appropriate public information and should have known how, but failed to, properly vet ISRA as a subgrantee, resulting in the transfer of U.S. taxpayer dollars to an organization with an extensive history of supporting terrorist organizations and terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden," the Dec. 23 report reads.
The report said World Vision’s vetting process was “borderline negligent.”
World Vision’s media relations spokeswoman, Sheryl Watkins, said the group will continue to look into strengthening their vetting process.
“World Vision is ... pleased that the committee staff’s report praised the changes we have made to our vetting process. And we also take seriously the committee staff’s recommendations to continue to examine other opportunities to improve the effectiveness of our blocked parties screening processes.”
The group World Vision donated funds to was the Islamic Relief Agency. According to the report, World Vision’s funding was most likely not used to fund the group’s terrorist activities, but the report said the dollars “inevitably aids their terrorist activities.”
According to the Senate report, World Vision worked with ISRA from 2013 to 2015, helping to provide food security, sanitation equipment and health services in Sudan.
In 2004, the U.S. placed sanctions on ISRA for its affiliation with terrorist organizations. Reports showed that the group helped distribute money to Osama Bin Laden’s predecessor and may have also helped relocate Bin Laden when he was wanted by the FBI.
In 2014, World Vision ceased funding to ISRA, but in February 2015, World Vision asked the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Office Control if it would pay ISRA for past services.
World Vision said it needed to make the payments or the group would face lawsuits. The OFAC then allowed World Vision to pay ISRA $125,000.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called World Vision's charitable work "admirable" but said the group should have been aware of ISRA's status.
"Ignorance can’t suffice as an excuse," he said. "World Vision’s changes in vetting practices are a good first step, and I look forward to its continued progress.”
Photo courtesy: iStock/Getty Images Plus/Creative-Family
h/t: The Christian Post
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.