Clinton Foundation limits foreign donations after presidential bid

Clinton Foundation announces limits on number of countries it will accept donations from following entrance of Hillary Clinton to presidential race

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Clinton family legacy, Clinton Foundation declared on Thursday that it will not be accepting foreign donations except six countries in the aftermath of announcement of presidential candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton Foundation Board said the donations can only be received from six governments of six nations that are Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.

The move is interpreted as avoiding any controversies that may emerge in relation to reliance on funds accepted from other nations being used toward Clinton’s presidential campaign.

According to analysis into accounts of the foundation by an AP journalist, 16 nations have provided grants in years between 2001 and 2015, ranging from $55 million to $130 million. In addition to those six nations mentioned above, the rest are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Algeria, Kuwait, Italy, Brunei, Taiwan as well as the Dominican Republic.

Data from 2014 showed first time contributors the UAE gave $6 million while Germany granted $350,000. Saudi Arabia provided between $10 million and $25 million since the creation of the Foundation in 1999 while Australia had provided between $5 million and $10 million.

While Qatari government had provided between $1 million and $5 million previously, it donated total of $750,000 in 2014. Another Middle Eastern contributor Oman had donated total of $6 million in the past while the amount in 2014 was disclosed.

Clinton resigned from her post from board of the foundation last week. The critics had found it unethical for a foundation run by a potential presidential candidate to be accepting grants from foreign government, risking American foreign policy being under influence.

The Clinton Global Initiative which is a subsidiary program, however, will still be able to accept contributions without any direct donations to the Clinton Foundation in order to tackle international problems.

Another move implemented by the foundation in response to the criticism will be that it decided to disclose its donors every quarter instead of annual release of information. The foundation has over 300,000 donors.

Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian had said the new policy on disclosure represents the commitment of the foundation to reinforcement of accountability while also protecting its charity programmes.

In recent remarks, Hillary Clinton had joined her husband former president Bill Clinton and other board members of the foundation defending the charity against the questions related to its reliance on aid from foreign governments. She reminded that the foundation has "hundreds of thousands of donors."

Bill Clinton had said, “I believe we’ve done a lot more good than harm. And I believe this is a good thing.”

The Foundation came under fire by criticism of Republicans who argued some Middle Eastern government that provides funding, was in state of abusing rights for women such as Saudi Arabia while also noting the ties with the six nations that contributed such as Canada, which pushed for approval of Keystone XL pipeline was questionable.

The Foundation had also limited the funds from foreign governments previously when Hillary CLinton was the secretary of state.

TRTWorld and agencies