Sinking boat of development sector in Balochistan


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Sinking Boat of development Sector in Balochistan

Amjad Rashid 

It dates back to the early 1980s when Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) surfaced all over the country and started their work with a professional approach. Prior to this, there were few charitable organizations established by prominent philanthropists supporting the needy and deserving class of the society.

Such organizations are still active and solely focused on charitable work. However, after the introduction of structural adjustment policies by international funding agencies particularly the World Bank, a new type of NGOs emerged.

UN agencies, INGOs spent significant amounts on poverty alleviation 

In Balochistan since 1980 other development actors like UN agencies INGOs and local civil society organizations spent a significant amount of funding for Poverty alleviation programs in Balochistan. Though the compilation of exact data about the contribution of private-sector agencies mentioned above is difficult, according to a rough estimate there had been eight INGOs and fifteen local NGOs were active in the province and involved in various social sector development projects.

The positive image and role of civil society organizations have-had been recognized by the communities and Government of Balochistan. Gradually provincial Government has started including NGOs in the development programs and also extending financial support as well.

Projects in education, health completed by NGOs

For example, Balochistan Education Foundation, Global Education Program, primary Education program implemented through Involving NGOs. These initiatives of the provincial Government also appreciated by the donor community and they extended significant support to these public-private initiatives of the Government of Balochistan.

Currently, there exist around 30 large and medium-sized local CSOs active in Balochistan. These organizations initiated their work with very meager resources, but now after almost twenty-five years, these organizations have not only been able to mobilize billions of Rupees, for improving the living conditions of the people of Balochistan but also contributing by giving employment to almost 5000 local men and women for during the last three years.

Thousands working in NGOs jobless currently 

Prior to that, the number of staff working in this sector had been more than 12000. It is also pertinent to mention that around 150 young graduates after gaining some working experience have been properly guided by these CSOs and been able to avail themselves scholarships under various foreign-funded programs and successfully completed their studies from international universities of good repute. The majority of them are currently working in various international and bilateral funding agencies and mobilizing resources for Balochistan.

Under the structural adjustment Governments throughout the developing world were asked to reduce the development budget and spend more on economic growth through encouraging the private sector and promotion of industrialization.

Unfortunately during the last three years, the good work of this emerging sector has been badly affected due to stringent policies of the govt in response to the recommendation of FATF. More than 2000 local and trained human resources by these NGOs have been relieved from their jobs due to lack of funding.

Strict policies made the work of NPOs almost impossible 

The strict policies of the govt have made working of these NPO almost impossible. Obtaining MOUs for each project from Islamabad and then mobilizing resources has become too difficult that many organizations had closed their offices.

If the situation continues then in a year’s time almost 5000 more local human resources will become jobless and the remaining few organizations still struggling to survive with their good work.

Govt of Balochistan must devise a policy to support this sector and not only enable the trained workforce, which is over-aged, and also benefit from the experience of this sector.

The writer is the Chief of Taraqee Foundation. He can be contacted at @amjadrshdyahoo1 on Twitter

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