NGOS institution has been officially announced
In a recent press conference in Erbil, the institution of Non-Governmental Organizations has been announced for the first time in Kurdistan Region. Kurdistan Parliament passed NGO Law in 2011, and it has recently come into effect. Fadhil Omer, head of the institution announced this on 27th of January 2013. He said ‘After implementation of legal procedures, we officially declare an institution in the hope of developing organizational profession in the region’. This is an extraordinary step in encouraging nongovernmental organizations to start, and develop Kurdistan region. NGOs tend to have social aims with a political outlook but are not part of political parties or movements. NGOs usually work with Human rights, environmental or developmental work. Consequently, since Kurdistan is in a transitory phase, the announcement of NGOs institution being established is significant for several reasons. Namely, NGOs have an institution to take their paperwork, and will now have clear regulations on how to start.
According to Fadhil Omer, the institution will be supervising all the international, regional and local NGOs working in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. All NGOs should visit the institution in the beginning of February in order to implement new regulations, and those who want to establish a NGO must prepare a proposal.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has allocated a specified amount within its budget for NGOs annually. According to new regulations, all the NGO’s payment will be cut on May 1, 2013. This means, based on the new law, which was passed last year, NGO’s will not be paid on a monthly basis. Instead they have to send their proposal to the institution and it will evaluate the proposal later. After finishing the assessment process, the institution will fund them based on their proposal.
There are around 675 NGOs which have been officially registered in the region, out of which around 204 NGOs received payment from the KRG alone. Each of them receive a sum of 2,500,000 IQD. KRG has allocated a sum of 15 billion IQD for the NGOs project annually. The delay in announcing the establishment of NGOs institution was due to official procedures and paperwork according to Fadhil Omer. Secondly, he explained that the management board of the institution had sought to find skilled, qualified and experienced people to work within appropriate positions at the institution.
Based on the old regulation, NGOs had to visit the KRG’s Ministry of Interior to register the name of their NGOs. In keeping with the new regulations, NGOs have to be registered by the institution alone. As a result the establishment, registration and all legal paperwork is now dealt with at one institution, and this encourages NGOs to branch out to Kurdistan, or local NGOs to start.