Tbilisi Principles: Meeting urgent humanitarian need while maintaining financial integrity

The war in Ukraine precipitated the development of a set of principles predicated on meeting urgent humanitarian need while maintaining financial integrity. Starting off as a workshop in Tbilisi, Georgia, in June 2022 on the “Consequences of the Ukraine Invasion on the AML/CFT regime for nonprofit organisations in the Eastern Partnership”, and hosted under the aegis of the EU AML/CFT Global Facility, in partnership with ECNL, the Global NPO Coalition on FATF, and the the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information in Georgia, what evolved was an outcome document speaking to the larger need to balance the sometimes oppositional goals of humanitarian assistance and financial integrity.

Finding the balance is not easy even in normal times. What we must accept is that in times of crisis that balance may shift, even if temporarily, towards accepting more risk in order to facilitate vital humanitarian action. But if this balance must shift, it is best that it shifts quickly, and in a planned and deliberate way. The recommendations in The Tbilisi Principles aim to show how this shift may be carried out, and addresses the public sector, the private sector and civil society. The outcome document was drafted in collaboration with CSOs from across the Eastern Partnership region.