Basra’s Organizations Respond to The critical and Negative Phenomena
Mustafa Al-Obaidi, the civil activist and manager of Iraqi Al-Amal Association’s office in Basra said, “The civic organizations in Basra have been able to play a great part in addressing the critical and negative phenomena of the society through the implementation of projects and continuous awareness campaigns since 2003.
He stated to Al-Sabah that more than 130 organization are cooperating with the local government to implement projects and programmes ranging between empowering young people and providing them with employment opportunities, training them on voluntary work as well as addressing the problems of gender, children, displaced people and tribal conflicts, and exercise pressure on the decision makers. The statement pointed out that what hinder their work were some challenges regarding the local funding which is missed because there’s no respond to the organizations’ needs. Despite the presence of the largest oil companies in Basra and their commitments to social benefits, their benefits were still limited and only given to those who were close to the authority. That is why sometimes, some projects and programmes are fated to fail because of the lack of local funding.
The relationship with the local government in the province is administered through a coordinating office and through the Committee of Civic Organizations in the Provincial Council. Often, many networks of civil society organizations are formed to implement a certain project with the help of academics and lecturers from the University of Basra. Other than the issue of the displaced people, the priorities in Basra, as everyone knows, are unemployment, poverty, tribal conflict, women’s rights and youth’s migration issues. The organizations are dealing with these issues with long-term and short-term projects according to their abilities and their sphere of impact as well as working with the local government to make new policies. “We have witnessed a remarkable cooperation by the official authorities and in the meantime, the community is starting to benefit from these programmes of the civil society organizations. That is obvious in the demands of the Declaration of Basra’s territory and applying the decentralization system”.
Published in Al-Sabah Newspaper on October 14th, 2015.