3.6 Funding associated with military actors and military objectives

Donor governments use their aid budgets to pursue their wider national security or foreign policies. For this reason, CARE needs to exercise caution in relation to funding or other relief goods that are associated with military or security institutions or objectives. In general, CARE members and country offices should not accept funding from ministry of defence institutions or funding streams, or from military operations deployed at the field level, unless authorization to do so has been received by the appropriate lead member in consultation with the CI Secretariat. This policy encompasses defence agency budgets associated with civil-military relations and assistance-related tasks. It also applies to the budgets allocated to specific military forces for quick-impact projects and other forms of assistance. Military forces also occasionally offer military goods, including food and non-food items, to be used as part of a humanitarian response. In general, CARE needs to adopt a cautious approach; balancing the humanitarian needs of crisis-affected populations with the potential consequences of using such items. In such contexts, CARE should advocate for and seek funding from aid channelled through civilian institutions, such as bilateral or multilateral donor agencies. In all cases, CARE should emphasise the importance of civilian control over humanitarian, recovery or development aid funding.

When considering funding, the following criteria must be adhered to:

  • CARE is not being prevented from accessing, or otherwise being directed away from, vulnerable or affected populations.
  • CARE is able to respond on the basis of its own independent assessment of humanitarian need.
  • CARE would not be required to perform humanitarian tasks within or on behalf of a military command structure.
  • CARE would not be perceived to support the military or political objectives of any party: this should be interpreted to preclude acceptance of funding from civilian donor institutions in cases where security, geopolitical or other non-humanitarian interests are the primary desired outcome (for example, counter-terrorism operations).
  • CARE would not need to depend on the protection by military forces in a way that would negatively change others’ perception of CARE’s independence and impartiality.
  • CARE would not expose its staff on the ground to unacceptable risk or insecurity.