UNICEF Representative in Egypt Jeremy Hopkins delivering a speech at the opening session of the "Regional Conference on Social Care System Reform." February 26, 2023. Press Photo
CAIRO – 26 February 2023: The Ministry of Social Solidarity, in collaboration with UNICEF and the Arab League, launched Sunday - under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, a two-day regional conference on social care system reform.
UNICEF Representative in Egypt Jeremy Hopkins clarified in his speech that the the conference is aimed at sharing experience, contributing to evidence base on social care systems in the MENA region and promoting knowledge production in the field.
The UNICEF representative highlighted that the cooperation with the Ministry of Social Solidarity included enhancing the provision of quality child protection services. Those consist of alternative care for children, social welfare services, positive parenting support and access to social protection interventions.
"Supported by UNICEF, in April 2021, The Ministry of Social Solidarity launched the National Strategy for Alternative Care for Children. Building on the national strategy, this conference will contribute to strengthening the child protection system within a broader agenda of social care reform," Hopkins said.
The UNICEF representative added that Egypt had achieved a "remarkable progress on many child rights indications" such as nutrition, reflected in a decline in stunting, wasting, underweight and overweight. Also, there was a drop in violence against children and harmful practices.
Nevertheless, Hopkins warns that "public financing of child protection systems and services in the MENA region remain limited. Infrastructure of social services and workforce are inadequate and largely under resourced. It is essential that domestic resources be allocated for the reform of social care systems and for consistent and sustainable international investment in support. A critical part of the landscape which needs to be in place for the effective public financing of social care is a more sophisticated understanding of current investments and budget allocations."