Khabar Khair (Only Good News) – Fatima Rashad
The Office of Social Affairs and Labor in Aden Governorate reported, “The number of associations, institutions and civil society organizations operating in Aden is 817, thus the work of 83 organizations, associations and institutions has been suspended due to their non-renewal of work permits”.
The Office followed up with an explanation of the outcome of some associations, saying, “Some associations stumbled due to the loss of their source of funding and the number of their members vanished, and they stopped after they were active thanks to the projects and services they provided”.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and its offices in the Yemeni governorates depend on procedures and steps to establish any organization and association, which is regulated by the law No (1) of 2001 regarding the local organizations and institutions. There are conditions and mechanisms set by the Ministry of Social Affairs to grant institutions, associations and organizations permits to carry out their activities.
The Ministry of Social Affairs Grants Licenses to 250 Organizations
The director of the office of the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Saleh Mahmoud, said, “The ministry has granted the renewal of permits to nearly 250 institutions and associations.”
Saleh Mahmoud explains the general situation of the institutions, saying, “The effective and active institutions renew their permits regularly annually, and some institutions are inactive and falter for many reasons, including the lack of access to projects from the international organizations, in addition to the fact that some international organizations did not open their headquarters in Aden, which caused distance between them and the local institutions and associations and deprived them from obtaining funds”.
Saleh continued by saying, “The international organizations operating in Yemen offer more than one project to the same local institution, depriving the rest of the institutions from practicing their development activities, and there is another reason for the failure of some organizations, which is that they are opened for profitable personal reasons”.
Moreover, Saleh Mahmoud stressed on the importance of examining the administrative and financial reports, inspecting headquarters and checking the account statement of institutions and associations in the banks in order to help the ministry monitor any violations of unlicensed associations. In addition to that, the ministry is keen on going to the governorates in coordination with the international organizations and funders of projects in Yemen to track work on the ground, see the extent of response, and achieve community partnership.
He added that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor held a number of meetings with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, as it is responsible for the agreements with the organizations and donors to find a partnership in the priority of the implementation of the needs and necessity to find sustainable development projects.
He also affirmed the existence of a mechanism to follow up and evaluate the organizations according to the procedures followed by the ministry and as formulated by the law.
Saleh said, “The ministry’s role is represented with the legal and regulatory supervision over the local organizations, and it is unfortunate that we found the ministry’s archives neglected and scattered, and there is no database. We have also worked on rearranging the offices and working on printing the permits and making circulars regarding the organization of work for the organizations and institutions to create a real community partnership”.
He added, “The ministry worked to sponsor a consultative conference that included directors of social affairs offices in the governorates and heads of the public administrations in the ministry’s office, as well as the local institutions operating and active in the governorates. The process of evaluating business and finding proposed solutions regarding the population’s needs and how to avoid the negatives was discussed in the conference”.
Organizations in Aden between Survival and Annihilation
For his part, Essam Wadi (Director of the Department of Associations, Cooperatives and Unions in Aden Governorate) explained to those who wish to establish an association or institution to submit its statute, which contains its objectives, organizational aspects, designations and definitions, as well as to submit a written request to the competent administrative authority, and we, in turn, ask for a headquarter lease contract, data on staff members and their signatures.
Wadi praised the work of some associations, saying, “There are names of associations in the governorate of Aden that are known to have made their mark on the ground thanks to what they provide, whether it is a relief organization or a development association”.
And Essam Wadi indicated that “the Social Affairs Office, represented by the Associations Administration, is working to liquidate inactive associations that do not have a headquarter to carry out their activities, in accordance with the associations and unions law”.
For her part, Huda Mahfouz (Head of the Woman’s Association for Sustainable Development) revealed, “civil society organizations operating in Aden face many obstacles, and these obstacles are determined according to the institutions’ activity and effectiveness on the ground”.
Huda added, “The lack of resources, qualified staff to manage associations, and the full experience in dealing with society have had a significant impact on associations and civil society organizations”.
She stressed, “The similarity of the tasks of many associations in their work, and the lack of work among associations in the spirit of one team is one of the biggest obstacles that have caused the failure of many institutions and associations”.
And between active and inactive organizations, we find the difference in performance and its outputs. This is what she disclosed, saying, “The action of the active organizations is revealed on the ground since their establishment, in addition to their activities, goals and achievements. As for the inactive organizations, they are either fictitious organizations, or their employees belong to a family, and this family belongs to itself”.
Hundreds of institutions, associations and organizations in Aden continue to provide their services to the needy and displaced people in the conflict areas. Some institutions also provide service projects such as pavements, implementing urgent relief and assistance to the poorest groups to help them overcome the crises.