Civil society organizations are complaining about “the retraction of the government of Jordan in dealing with requests for approval of financial support.” This at the time that the government is talking about speeding up and better organizing the process. They are pointing out that this retraction comes at the same time that the Ministry of Social Affairs appears to have closed in to control the approval process despite the fact that they are merely coordinating the committee that includes all the relevant ministries. Leaders of civil society organizations are saying that there is a huge gap in understanding the role of civil society and the reasons for governmental approvals of funding. One female leader of a civil society organization said that “we don’t mind to hear professional comments or suggestions that can help in the service of Jordanian society, but what we hear often under the table, reflects arbitrariness and an attempt to control all manner of support that is earmarked for civil society. Another human rights activist said that the ministry of social affairs has geared up their control over not for profit companies and have interfered in their independent work. “This is a violation of international conventions and norms despite the fact that the new announced regulation states that the new mechanism will respect international standards in this respect.” But activists noted worry that the regulations included the phrase that the “appropriate ministries will have the responsibility of monitoring and follow up of the activities that are funded from abroad.” This phrase takes the entire independence of NGOs and gives the executive sector power that will remove any independence to these organizations. Ironically the government which refuses to put any restrictions on international organizations working in Jordan while pilling on restrictions on local not for profit and other civil society organizations. One activist said that an international NGO asked attempted to sub contract an activity with their organization but conditioned getting the subcontract on the local organization getting governmental approval while the international NGO was not obliged to get any approval.
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