UNRWA holds first Child and Family Forum in Amman

15 December 2011

14 December 2011
Amman

Child and Family Youth ForumToday, UNRWA held the first Child and Family Forum at Amman’s Sheraton Hotel. The forum was opened by Dr Abdullah Al-Smeirat, Assistant Secretary General of Ministry of Social Development.

The forum comes within UNRWA’s programme reform endeavours to improve the quality of service provision to Palestine refugees. About 20 governmental and non-governmental organisations, and some community-based organisations, participated in the two-day forum.

In her speech, deputy director of UNRWA operations Dr Stefania Pace-Shanklin stressed the importance of co-operation among organisations working in the field of child and family care: “One government or organisation cannot overcome alone the problems facing the communities nowadays. It is a collaborative effort with a role for each one of us to play.”

The forum will shed light on the challenges facing these organisations, and discuss their experience and achievements in order to enhance communication among them.

On behalf of the Jordanian government, Dr Al-Smeirat highlighted the role of the Ministry of Social Development in supplying a wide range of programmes and activities to increase productivity and enable families to implement projects that would improve their income.

He said: “The national agenda aims to achieve a set of major objectives, including rebalancing and protecting poor categories, expanding the middle class, and offering health, education and social services with high quality and efficiency.”

“It is an opportunity to learn and exchange experiences,” said UNRWA’s Peta Fitzgibbon. “It is hoped that the forum will come up with recommendations that would help organise the efforts of participating organisations to improve the services we provide to our beneficiaries, and their access to those services.”

Participants will discuss different papers on main issues of interest to the community and how to deal with these issues through participatory approaches – empowering local communities to find practical solutions to challenges facing families in Jordan.

- Ends -

For more information please contact:

Anwar Abu-Sakieneh
Public Information Officer
UNRWA Jordan Field Office
Mobile No. 079 5671 888
Email: a.abu-sakieneh@unrwa.org

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 69 million.

For more information, please contact:

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