Queen Rania Chairs National Council for Family Affairs Board Meeting

April 13, 2008

(Jordan Times - Amman) The National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) on Sunday endorsed the national strategy for the elderly, which seeks to upgrade their economic, cultural and social status.

During a meeting chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania, the council’s board of trustees endorsed the blueprint, prepared in cooperation with the ministries of social development and health, the Jordan Nursing Council and representatives of the private and voluntary sectors.

The strategy, which is scheduled to provide an analysis of the overall situation of senior citizens in the country and seeks to empower them, will be launched this year.

A study, used in drawing up the strategy, indicated that senior citizens constituted 6.4 per cent of the total population in 2006, with the percentage expected to increase in the future due to the development in the level of health and educational services, the increase in literacy and the drop in mortality rates.

The strategy is the first initiative in Jordan targeting senior citizens and their well-being. It seeks to improve their quality of life and enable them to live independently while ensuring they receive proper health and social services.

The document calls for allocating monthly salaries for senior citizens who don’t receive pensions and provide them with “golden cards” to benefit from different services, privileges and discounts.

It also calls for providing job opportunities for those willing and capable to work in order to reduce poverty levels.

As part of the strategy, brochures will be distributed to the public on the kinds of food the elderly should eat to safeguard their health.

In addition, it recommends upgrading the level of preventive health services, including physical, social and psychological health.

At yesterday’s meeting, NCFA Secretary General Haifa Abu Ghazaleh briefed the gathering on the projects the council achieved last year, in addition to its future plans.

The Queen and the board members, representing different ministries, government organisations, NGOs and family experts, also discussed coordination between the council and different entities working in this field.

Among the council’s recent achievements is the establishment of a technical office in the Lower House with the aim of enhancing communication between parliamentarians and civil society institutions concerned with family issues.

Through the office, the council will provide the concerned committees in Parliament with studies and data which will help them make the right decisions affecting each family.

The office will examine laws and regulations concerned with families before and after their endorsement, push for amending laws that need to be changed and suggest important new regulations.

Earlier this year, the council launched a national information system for family affairs and two guidebooks on local family-related regulations and research to provide lawmakers, sociologists and researchers in the field with a solid and accurate background on the situation of families in the Kingdom.

Established in 2001, the NCFA is a civil society organisation chaired by Queen Rania that supports, coordinates and facilitates the work of its partners and relevant institutions which are involved and influential in the field of family affairs.

The council seeks to contribute to a better quality of life for Jordanian families through a national vision that supports the country’s development policies and enables the family to attain their optimal aspirations.