Political, social and economic instability have had a stronghold over countries across the Middle East over the years. With volatility and unrest, there has been immense destruction of civil, social and financial infrastructure. Like many other countries in the region, Iraq has faced a similar fate. However, following the recent victory against ISIS, many international organisations and entities have expressed their willingness to play a vital role in rebuilding the country.
Naturally, many multinational organisations from the United States to China have been looking at Iraq as a potential new market. Global players in the Oil & Gas, construction, healthcare and telecommunications industries that have operated in the market have also been quite successful. It seems that as multinationals look for greater expansion opportunities, Iraq is ready to re-open its doors.
Yet, it is safe to say that the impact of war spread greatly beyond the economic and financial impact. Millions of families were displaced as business owners fled the market. The humanitarian crisis in Iraq continues to plague the country with a majority of the population displaced, while others – including children – have been tainted (scarred) by years of violence.
For international companies looking to operate and improve Iraq’s infrastructure, the responsibility of rebuilding the country extends beyond improving economic conditions. Companies must consider their social impact and ability to do good by the citizens who have faced incredibly grave atrocities.
Children collecting water in Khanke refugee camp, Iraq
As a leading law firm with a constant and visible presence in the market, Al Tamimi & Company has been committed to rebuilding the core fibres of Iraq’s society. With our eyes set on the long-term, we allocated resources to collaborate with SOS Children’s Villages International and pool our efforts to mitigate the immense psychological, emotional and physical impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable citizens, children. Through our work with SOS Children’s Villages, an independent, international, non-government social development organisation, we were recently able to support the launch of an emergency relief programme in Iraq.
With SOS Children’s Villages, we have focused on the procurement of psychotropic medication and regular trauma counselling under the Department of Health at the Child and Adolescent Mental Centre in Dohuk, transportation for displaced patients and refugees, and well as medical assistance for children’s parents in the Khanke Camp. Through our efforts we hope to not only contribute towards the economic welfare of the country, but also give-back towards the wider society.
As more and more businesses continue to look towards Iraq as a dynamic market filled with extensive potential, companies must also recognise the importance of investing in both physical and social infrastructure.
As the international community begins to rebuild businesses, the foundation of each society lies in the welfare of its people.