MUSCAT: The Sultanate and Unicef signed the National Programme Action Plan, which runs through 2020. Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, and Lana al Wreikat, Unicef representative in Muscat, signed the plan. This plan outlines the programmes to be implemented in the Sultanate with a focus on the integrated development of early childhood, protection of children from violence and the integration of children with disabilities. The National Programme was designed in consultation with the Government of the Sultanate, represented by the child protection and welfare agencies, as the ministries of social development and health. It is in line with national policies and strategies related to child care and supports the Sultanate’s commitment to implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Lana al Wreikat said: “This programme aims to support the Unicef’s efforts to promote broader child services and help achieve sustainable development goals, particularly those related to children’s health, nutrition, education and protection.” She explained that the nature of this partnership and the focus of the national programme could develop steadily over the years to address the emerging issues and challenges for children in high-income countries, noting that the Unicef has a long-standing partnership with the Sultanate that began in 1971 through the Gulf-based office in Abu Dhabi, followed by the opening of office in Muscat in 1982. — ONA