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Qatar: Foreign Policy and Charity in Niger Essay

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Updated: Jan 26th, 2022

Qatari Foreign Policy

Carryover or Redirection?

Consolidating peace and stability are the fundamental principles of Qatar’s foreign policy. Since the beginning of his rule in 1995, Sheikh Hamad’s policy focused on conflict resolution of the district, thus bringing international recognition and credibility to Qatar. Starting 2010 revolutions began in the countries of the Arabian world bringing down dictatorships. Qatar supported this movement for freedom, gaining the international credit of trust and shifting its role from a mediator to supportive activist. Two points determining Qatari foreign policy are a support the right of peoples to self-determination and a vacuum in regional powers as other Arabic countries were having serious internal struggles.

The overthrew of the first elected president of Egypt, Morsi, forced Sheikh Tamim, Hamad’s son, to make his own clear position in 2014. Sheikh Tamim, following the policy his father conducted, kept to the policy of supporting Morsi’s government. This position significantly differs from the policy of other countries of the region. The countries that confront the Muslim Brotherhood. The strain between the Arabic countries and Qatar led to withdrawing of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates embassies from Doha. Despite that fact, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have a consoled policy on Syria. But it seems to last as long as Iran is not be considered as the biggest threat to Saudi Arabia. Doha’s policy in the region will have a diplomatic nature using a blend of polarization and power to achieve goals stated.

The two possible scenarios for Qatar in the nearest future are: if the labor law that abolishes kafala system will be reconsidered as well as other reforms will take place, Qatar will strengthen its position in the world’s policy, if not – it will stay only a regional player not recognized by the West.

Qatar Charity in Niger

Biopolitics of an international Islamic NGO

The study is dedicated to the aspects of the activity of Qatar Charity NGO in Western Africa region (Niger). It includes the analysis of driving forces of expressions of Islamic solidarity (ighatha – humanitarian relief and da’wa – the call to Islam). The study is divided into seven chapters, each (except Chapter One being Introduction) representing certain aspect: methodology, theoretical framework, studies on Niger, the description and outcome of Qatar Charity activity in Niger and conclusions on research questions.

The study analyses the application of the results of the work of two authors – Amartrya Sen and Mark Duffield – dedicated to the reasons and the ways of solving of the humanitarian catastrophes in Niger’s Dosso region, as well as to the local activity of mainstream NGO’s. The study also aims to search the activity and input of an international Islamic NGO, Qatar Charity, in the improvement of life of Niger’s Dosso region; and to evaluate and make certain notes on Duffield’s concept of biopolitics of international development. The critique of development, based on the analysis of mainstream organizations is applied to the actions of non-mainstream (Islamic) NGO. The major questions studied are the ratio of Qatar Charity contributions in the context of Duffield’s arguments for a biopolitics of international development; and the refinements of Duffield’s analysis for a biopolitics of international development that can be made based on the conclusions of Qatar Charity activity.

The standards of living in Niger are extremely low that sometimes leads to the local humanitarian catastrophes in rural regions (crisis, lack of food). This situation occurs due to the unproductive internal policy as well as to the acts of foreign players. The NGOs functioning in Niger aim their actions to providing sustainability in the region that may result in the development of self-reliance of the community. Despite not being mainstream NGO, Qatar Charity’s activities aim the same goals. The result of mainstream sponsored organization and Qatar Charity cooperation was that the private, not the state structures as previously, took the responsibility for the provision of veterinary services. The second field of Qatar Charity activity was dealing with women unions who represent one of the most vulnerable and insecure groups in the country lacking agency and political voice as a demonstration of the tension between “global governance and the governed”.

Limitations of the study: interactions with governmental structures are underdeveloped; the study is dedicated to a very specific phenomenon – the activity of Qatar Charity only during 2008 and 2009. The results cannot be globally considered as representative.

The study emphasizes that there might be misunderstandings in current ideas and understanding on the development issues. The reason is starting the conversation between “Anglophone critiques of international development and humanitarianism” and “Francophone analyses of development interventions in Niger” together with “Francophone West Africa”. The present study also highlights three factors that facilitate the influence of the sustainable development as self-reliance and internal logics of contingent sovereignty. They are “INGO formations of legitimizing partnerships”, “local communities’ strategic approaches to INGO” projects, and “INGO engagements with local corruption complexes”.

Certain local approaches to the NGO policy were revealed during the Qatar Charity functioning in Niger. They are applying the NGO facilities for the own needs of locals, the specific local norms of behavior were taking into the account during the operation, that resulted in specific micro-policy measures taken by Qatar Charity. The rate and the character of non-mainstream development are hard to determine due to the research because the lack of the case studies and the materials. The activity of Qatar Charity, in general, corresponded to the activity of mainstream NGOs.

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IvyPanda. "Qatar: Foreign Policy and Charity in Niger." January 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/qatari-foreign-policy-and-qatar-charity-in-niger/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Qatar: Foreign Policy and Charity in Niger." January 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/qatari-foreign-policy-and-qatar-charity-in-niger/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Qatar: Foreign Policy and Charity in Niger'. 26 January.

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