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DIFI calls for policies to overcome problems facing children, families

DIFI calls for policies to overcome problems facing children, families

Ailyn Agonia
DOHA
DOHA International Family Institute (DIFI) Executive Director Dr Sharifa al Emadi has called for new and better national policies to solve complex problems affecting children and families, stressing the importance of family-centred policies.
Dr Emadi was speaking at a symposium on ‘Child Wellbeing in Qatar ’organised by DIFI in partnership with the Ministry of Administrative Development and Unicef’s Gulf Area Office.
The symposium, which opened on Wednesday, is aimed at developing an action-based approach to improving policy and programmes regarding children in Qatar.
On the occasion, Dr Emadi stressed the recommendation of DIFI for a multi-sectoral approach involving all stakeholders within the government, such as the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA), the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and other non-governmental stakeholders that provide services in coping with the challenges concerning the promotion of well-being of children and adolescents.
She also underlined the strong emphasis of Qatar on investing in the well-being of children as indicated in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2017-2022.
“Today, we see an opportunity for academia, policymakers and practitioners to shed light on the well-being of children in Qatar because it is so important. This approach comes at a time of increasing awareness and interest of professionals, researchers and policymakers at all levels - national, regional and global - to understand the physical, mental, social, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and cultural well-being of children. Our children deserve our full attention and care and we must work hard to protect them and ensure that they have their rights to education and health”, she said.
Ghanem al Kuwari, assistant undersecretary for social affairs at MADLSA, said, “Qatar is an active and responsible member of the international community and participating in this symposium showcases Qatar’s keenness to develop its policies and laws related to child and family well-being in line with relevant international criteria. As part of MADLSA’s responsibility is to lead social works and social protection, it endevours at the legislative, institutional and scientific levels to preserve the rights of the children and raise awareness of social protection as a concept in the Qatari community. We have set amongst our top priorities developing an integrated approach with our partners to achieve comprehensive protection system for all the family members.”
He further mentioned that MADLSA is currently implementing a number of child related programmes, specifically, updating the law for the protection of children and a project for proposing a national child development strategy.
Anthony MacDonald, Unicef head of office &senior programme officer in Qatar, mentioned the milestones in the ongoing efforts to protect children and families as well as the emerging challenges faced by key institutions working on the issue.
He reiterated the need to work across sectors and ministries, both public and private, and to jointly find solutions to problems affecting children. He also lauded the partnership between Qatar and Unicef towards the cause.
“Unicef with its strengthened presence in Qatar is very excited to work with its partners. Unicef in agreement with the government of Qatar will be focusing on some of the issues such as early childhood development, child protection and evidenced-based policies and programmes in the next five years. Unicef will do these with its partners not only to address the issues facing Qatari children, but also to share Qatar’s successes with the world in this regard”, he said.

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