PM Medvedev orders funding for social NGOs

Russian PM Medvedev orders funding of social NGOs

Moscow, 27.03.2015

Medvedev said the decline in finance allocated to the Programme for Support for Social NGOs needs to be rectified. He said he will ask the Finance Ministry to deal with it. In 2015 a series of laws will be adopted to make social services more flexible and will allow civil society activists opportunities to work alongside public servants, according to Medvedev, speaking at the All-Russian Forum of Social Workers. In the first instance, he said, the law governing social services will be amended. He spoke of a range of new concepts, such as “social collaboration” which will make it easier for NGOs, religious organisations, charities and volunteers to be involved in providing social services. The state already supports them, but hitherto only just over 1 bn roubles (£11.8mn) was allocated to them by the state. He admitted that the amended budget for 2015 provided for a reduction in such expenditure to zero, but said that this could not be allowed and must be corrected. He stated that new actors in the social services sector could be seen as threatening to government employees, but “support for healthy competition” in this sphere was necessary. In a market for social services there was not yet an excess of service providers of help to the public. And what everyone wants is good services to help the public.

Before this, a bill was submitted to the State Duma by the Finance Ministry with amendments to the state budget. It proposed a decline in finance allocated to the Programme for Support for Social NGOs. Now, signatures are being collected to add to a letter from social NGOs to the President, asking for this reduction in funding to be cancelled. So far 400 NGOs and 6,000 individuals have signed it.

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