Establishing an Effective Coordination Mechanism between the Private Sector and Local Organizations is a Necessity for Economic Recovery
Sawt Al-Amal (Voice of Hope) – Hanin Al-Wahesh
In the mid of the difficult conditions the country is going through, the horrific indicators of a national economic and infrastructure collapse, as well as the increase in indicators of hunger, poverty and humanitarian needs, it was necessary to develop urgent solutions that work on the process of integrating sectors. It was also necessary for establishing links and partnerships more than ever before supporting the economy and contributing to motivating the development process in the short term.
This was explained by many economic and development experts through their discussion of recovery and reconstruction. They also stressed on the need for a real partnership between the investment side of the private sector and the side of humanitarian aid for local community organizations in order to move from the stage of relief aid to the stage of social responsibility that provides tangible projects in the community.
Partnership between Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector
Hussein Al-Suhaili, Coordinator of the Development and Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Initiative talked about the status of the partnership between the private sector and civil society organizations. He explained that despite the tireless efforts of civil society organizations to build a real partnership with the private sector in Yemen for the development and reconstruction process, it repudiates the activation of social responsibility that makes a real impact and change in the reality of local communities. It also shows the national role played by private sector towards this country, which represents the consumer market for its products and the incubator for its investments.
He added that the difficulties and challenges facing the private sector and capital are represented in the deteriorating investment climate, the double taxation system, the significant increase in customs duties on non-essential goods and other difficulties. Despite the abundance of these difficulties, they do not absolve the private sector from its social responsibilities in building a real partnership with civil society organizations, supporting their proposals and projects in local development, and preserving the environment and entrepreneurship, in addition to providing financing and facilities and soft loans for medium and small projects.
He stressed that without building a real partnership between civil society organizations, the private sector and government agencies; it will remain unlikely that reconstruction or stability and economic as well as developmental revival will occur when the conflict is over. Therefore, the private sector must move from performing philanthropic acts that do not go beyond charity to activating social responsibility, the results of which meet local communities.
The Private Sector and Partnership in Humanitarian Works
In 2019, World Bank blogs clarified that increased private sector involvement in humanitarian efforts during conflict played an important role in maintaining the level of essential imports. This was in one of the pillars of the topic about the outcomes of a meeting of companies and businessmen entitled (The Yemeni private sector unites its ranks to support humanitarian and reconstruction efforts). It supports livelihoods that contribute to preventing famines in the country and identifying opportunities for activity during the reconstruction and recovery process. Despite the challenges of the conflict, the sector continued to provide jobs and income to support livelihoods.
Among the outcomes of the meeting is the adoption of a number of measures and recommendations under this pillar to be discussed and to determine the role that the private sector plays now and after the conflict in terms of development, reconstruction and recovery efforts. These recommendations included, identifying the support that requires full participation, as they are effective partners in development and humanitarian efforts, as well as working with the government and donor partners to design and implement initiatives and programs in order to increase participation with this sector. Additionally, it should establish an effective mechanism to coordinate with important stakeholders like the government, civil society organizations, and donors. It should also provide advice on how to engage with Yemeni activities in the diaspora, and offer recommendations on how and where to maximize funding in terms of humanitarian and development assistance.
Division of Roles and Recovery
Regarding the roles entrusted to the private sector and civil society organizations to play effective roles in the development and reconstruction process, Abdullah Qaid, Professor of Economics, stated that the Yemeni economy is going through a difficult stage since the beginning of the conflict. This necessitates the establishment of a real and tangible partnership between all components of the public and private sectors, civil society organizations. It also necessitates a coordination with the donor community, partners and those interested in Yemen in order to expedite the implementation of urgent economic reforms. These reforms included, giving the economic file the priority it deserves on the agenda of the negotiations sponsored by the United Nations to save the economic situation and adopt measures to build economic confidence.
In addition, the importance of mobilizing the state’s public resources, especially taxes and customs, the production and export of oil and gas, and the creation of a unified monetary authority that exercises monetary and banking policy in all regions of the country, raises confidence in the banking sector. It also expands its means of communication with the global financial system, mobilizes donor support and the work of international as well as the local organizations towards the economic recovery program and development projects. In addition, it helps to support the recovery of the private sector, as it is the main factor of economic activity, the largest employer of employment, and the main provider of goods and services. It is also working to establish a framework for partnership between the public and private sectors and civil society organizations for development, economic recovery and reconstruction.
Qaid asserted that Yemen has not lost all of its ability, but given the dire consequences of the past years of conflict, the Yemenis no longer have time to waste, as the situation continues to deteriorating. Therefore, work on developing plans to support development and economic recovery must begin in a serious manner, without arguments or procrastination.
Hussein Moqbel, a development expert, added that the partnership of the private sector and civil society organizations would contribute significantly to the development process. However, the General Federation of Yemeni Chambers of Commerce and Industry is the body that represents the interests of the private sector in all sectors before government authorities and external parties .In recent years, it managed to maintain close contacts with most of the provincial chambers. However, this stage requires revitalizing the role of the union, so that the private sector can play its role in development, economic recovery and the reconstruction of Yemen.
Qaid explained that it is noticeable that the dialogue between the public and private sectors – in general – is very weak at the present time. Furthermore, the union can establish means of communication and an effective mechanism for coordination with the governments of Aden and Sana’a, civil society organizations and the donors to discuss issues that affect the performance of the private sector and its active participation. In addition to finding solutions to the division of financial institutions and monetary policies, and defining the role of the private sector at the level of development, reconstruction and recovery efforts.
Moqbel adds, “The Yemeni economy cannot recover without the contribution of the private sector, national capital, and major companies that need protection and reforming the business as well as investment environment.” Noting that Yemen needs to support dialogue between the public and private sectors more than ever, in addition to partnership with civil society organizations. It also needs strong economic policies and institutions to be able to engage in the path of recovery and reconstruction.
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