Government grants 500,000 euros to NGOs in the midst of COVID-19 crisis

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In the midst of rapid increase in the number of infected with COVID-19 and in a
situation when the Macedonian economy is in crisis, at a government session SDSM
ministers adopted the "Program for financing the program activities of associations
and foundations" which provides financial resources in the amount of thirty million
denars or approximately half a million euros for financing non-governmental
organizations, VMRO-DPMNE’s Ivanka Vasilevska stated at today’s press
conference.
She assessed that this decision was due to the fact of the incompetence of the
SDSM-led government and the highly politicized Commission for Infectious
Diseases, which failed to cope with the pandemic, and therefore now NGOs were
allegedly involved in dealing with the crisis. But Vasilveska warned, it was very clear
what the goal was and where that money would end up.
"Even more so, given that only two months ago the same funds intended for the non-
governmental sector were cut by the government, under the excuse that there were
other priorities caused by the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, the funds were cut because it
was clear that there would be no elections on April 12, so according to the corrupt
logic of SDSM, there was no need for financial support for NGOs. Indeed, it is
unfortunate that Zoran Zaev and SDSM under such assistance do not mean
anything else, but only an attempt for a classic bribe of civil subjects that SDSM has
been abusing for years in its pre-election manipulations. To that end, the call itself is
short-lived and with reduced criteria for the use of budget funds," added the
opposition representative.
Vasilevska asks how it is possible in conditions of economic crisis caused by the
coronavirus epidemic, and when the business community warns that the current
economic winds from the Government are insufficient to support businesses, to
allocate a total of an additional 600,000 euros. She assesses that it is a matter of
manipulation with the most socially vulnerable categories of citizens and an attempt
for mass bribery that endangers the credibility and integrity of the non-governmental
sector.

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