Posted on June 28, 2018

The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), has held a consultation meeting on Family-Sensitive Social Protection (FSSP) in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). 

The meeting, which took place in Doha from June 26-27, resulted from a joint project between DIFI and ESCWA to develop and promote a focus on families in social protection. Evidence has shown that social protection programs can strengthen the capacity of families to care for their children and remove barriers to accessing services, while reaching those who are most vulnerable. However, social protection services remain an unfulfilled right for many vulnerable families, including those in the Arab region. The objective of the joint DIFI/ESCWA project is to develop a conceptual framework for family-sensitive social protection, examine its rationale, collect evidence to support the proposal, and identify challenges associated with its design and implementation.

The meeting discussed the findings of the preliminary report on the project, with regional and international experts on social protection reflecting on family trends in their regions and countries, and focusing on specific issues around family-sensitive social protection. DIFI, which has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is a global policy and advocacy institute working to advance knowledge on Arab families through research, and promote evidence-based polices at national, regional, and international level.

Commenting on the collaboration with ESCWA, Ms. Noor Al Malki Al Jehani (pictured), Executive Director, DIFI, said: “Social protection is an important thematic area of DIFI’s work on family wellbeing, and increasing evidence shows that social protection measures lead to positive outcomes for families, especially on children’s education and general wellbeing. “Our collaboration with ESCWA helps to strengthen social protection for families and boosts the focus on major social policy initiatives to sustain families living in poverty and social exclusion, including single parents or large families, and families providing care to people with disabilities.”

Khawla Mattar, Deputy Executive Secretary, ESCWA, said: “The UN regional commission serves an important role in providing and facilitating the social protection of families across the Arab region. “It is our aim to ensure policymakers direct special attention to women, who often bear the main responsibility for the wellbeing of their families; and to countries in conflict and crisis, where families are under unusual pressure and often torn apart.”