NCCI organized the first general coordination meeting in southern Iraq in collaboration with the Basra Network for Sustainable Development. The meeting took place on the 27th of February 2016 at the Port Club in Basra City. This event follows a series of meetings held earlier between November 2015 and January 2016. These meetings were organized by the Basra Network for Sustainable Development and local and international NCCI members in the south. NCCI used the meetings to assess the coordination needs in the south. This general coordination meeting in Basra aimed to:
• Increase the trust and collaboration among the local NGOs working in the south of the country.
• Share information on activities and projects. Share knowledge and solutions. Provide special support to the new local NGOs.
• Discuss humanitarian issues in the south, including emergency aid and sustainable development.
• Advocate on these issues and stimulate the international community (donors, agencies, organizations, etc.) to respond to the needs in the south, particularly development issues.
• Support local NGOs, and discuss the needs to build their capacities via voluntary actions of local partners and external support from international actors.
• Build a contact database of the NGOs working in the southern region.
Representatives from 27 local NGOs andtwo international NGOs together with four civil activists attended the meeting. The participants discussed coordination efforts across the country and the need for more support for the NGOs operating in the south. A number of problems and issues impacting the NGO community were identified during the meeting, including problems affecting local NGOs in particular, capacity building needs, implemented programs and unmet needs, legislation issues and relations with local authorities. The participants agreed that more regular coordination activities are needed in the southern region.