NGOS in­sti­tu­tion has been of­fi­cially an­nounced

The Kurdish Globe - - EDITORIAL - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

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.

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