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Sunday, June 5, 2011

King voices support for family affairs council

AMMAN (JT) - His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday underlined his full support for the goals and programmes implemented by the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) to ensure a better life for Jordanian families, according to a Royal Court statement.

The King stressed keenness to enhance the work of institutions concerned with family affairs and improve services provided to families.

During a meeting with members of the NCFA’s board of trustees, attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, the King voiced appreciation for the council’s efforts to empower families and address problems and challenges facing them, the statement said.

His Majesty also expressed support for the council’s future plans to further promote cohesion of families and the Jordanian society at large.

The Queen, who is the chairperson of the NCFA, expressed her appreciation for the King’s continuous care and support for the council’s mission, stressing that the meeting underlines His Majesty’s commitment to improving quality of life for Jordanian families, as the catalyst of social reform.

Queen Rania stressed that the council has had an impressive track record during the last decade, pointing in particular to a database compiled over these years on issues related to family and concerned institutions. This includes several useful publications and documents, she said.

During the meeting, the vice chairman of the board, Rajai Muasher, outlined the components of the National Strategy for Family Affairs.

The plan includes programmes covering family protection, education and cultural, socio-economic, health and environment aspects as well as a programme on the policies and legislation governing family affairs.

He noted that the council has in place a mechanism to follow up on and evaluate its performance and assess the impact of its outputs on the life of Jordanian families.

The NCFA’s future plans include a review of the law governing the work of the council, to make sure that it meets the requirements of the next stage in addition to developing the council’s programmes and relations with other local and Arab peer institutions, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

During the meeting, members of the board underlined a plan that is being implemented in cooperation with the concerned ministries and institutions to reach out to 160,000 families to enhance nurturing methods and healthy ways to deal with children.

In an interview with Petra, Muasher said the council developed a national strategy on childhood, early education and school environment, under which the Ministry of Education has established a total of 950 kindergartens among the ministry’s schools.

Minister of Social Development Salwa Damen told Petra that the ministry is considering amending the Juvenile Law, which will redefine a juvenile as a person between the age of 12-18 instead of 7-18 as well as the appointment of a judge specialised in juveniles cases to facilitate procedures taken when dealing with juvenile cases in court.

She noted that the ministry will implement a project in cooperation with the Spanish embassy to follow up on family affairs and enhance the skills of employees working in the field.

NCFA’s acting Secretary General Mohammad Miqdadi said the council will launch an electronic system for tracking domestic violence and abuse cases by the end of this year to enhance the level of dealing with such cases.

In an interview with Petra, he noted that the first phase of the project will be launched in Amman, then in all parts of the Kingdom in the second phase.

Established in 2001, the NCFA is an umbrella organisation which supports, coordinates and facilitates the work of its partners and relevant institutions that are involved and influential in the field of family affairs, according to its website.

The council seeks to ensure the right policy environment to support the development of family protection and unity and also collects data and information, monitors and shares information on the well-being of children and families, and contributes to policy development.