NCFA launches CBA study for the Ministries of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and Justice
The National Council for Family affairs (NCFA) has launched its second Child Budget Analysis (CBA) study in Jordan at Sheraton Amman Hotel under the patronage of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Judge Ahmed Jamalieh representing the Minister of Justice Dr Bassam At-Talhouni, with the presence of NCFA Secretary General and the General Budget Department Director General, Dr Mohammad Al-Hazaimeh.
During the ceremony, Judge Ahmed Jamalieh emphasized Jordan's great achievements in the fulfillment of child rights since the enforcement of the CRC in Jordan in 1990. He also referred to Jordan's periodic reports submitted to the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child which reflected the measures and procedures undertaken by the Government of Jordan in implementation of the convention, including changes to national legislation, policies, programs and strategies. Jamaileh noted that the Government of Jordan has further demonstrated qualitative steps towards the realization of child rights enshrined in the CRC. Such steps have been evident in the institutional approach and enhanced cooperation that existed between public and private sectors through real partnerships and networking, relying on clear definition of roles and responsibilities, in addition to the mobilization and facilitation of international and local funding needed for the implementation of procedures emerging from national plans related to childhood.
Judge Ahmed Jamalieh, added that NCFA, in collaboration with UNICEF and the General Budget Department (GBD), has solidified the concept of child budgeting through the Child-Friendly Budget Project, which prompted the GBD to include child allocations within the General Budget Law, covering seven Ministries which are: Finance, Planning and International Cooperation/National Planning Council, Education, Health, Social Development, Labor and Culture. At this stage, the Ministries of Justice Awqaf and Islamic Affairs have participated in the project and worked tirelessly with NCFA, budget analysts and relevant individuals from each Ministry to identify allocations that are clearly and explicitly pronounced as child allocations within the budget tables of the two Ministries for the year 2014 to be later on reflected in the General Budget Law for the year 2015.
On his part, NCFA Secretary General Fadel A-Hmoud expressed NCFA's gratitude and appreciation for UNICEF's ongoing support for all its activities. He pointed out that NCFA has partnered with UNICEF in Jordan to implement various projects and programs such as this study, which is in line with NCFA's role stipulated in its Law No. 27 regarding the implementation of the National Early Childhood Development Strategy. Through this partnership, NCFA seeks to achieve a better future for the Jordanian family by adopting a participatory working approach among all governmental and non-governmental national institutions and relevant regional and international organizations.
Al-Hmoud also indicated that the mission of the Child-Friendly Budgeting Project lies in the provision of specific allocations within the national budget to secure the needs and rights of all children in Jordan. The project also aims to allocate financial provisions for childhood programs in state budgets to be centered around three pillars (health, education and social protection).
It is to be noted that the project was undertaken in two phases, the first of which involved conducting an analytical study for the budgets of four Ministries which were: Health, Education, Social Development and Labor to determine whether there are sufficient allocations devoted and spent on child-related projects. As a result, child allocations were included in the Budget Circular for the year 2012. As for second phase of the project, it was initiated at the end of 2013 and is still underway. It includes a similar study for the budgets of another two Ministries, this time the Ministries of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and Justice following the same methodology. The current CBA is the first of its kind locally, regionally and internationally as it exhibits the crucial role of the Ministry of Awqaf in fulfilling child rights from the perspective of the project and through Preaching and Guidance projects in a way that enhances children's well-being. Furthermore, the new study reflects the government's concern with promoting various legislative and procedural child-targeted activities in the two Ministries. As part of the project, relevant staff from both Ministries were trained on how to display these allocations explicitly as child-specific within the Ministry budget tables for the year 2014 so as to be reflected later on in the General Budget Law for the year 2015.
UNICEF Jordan Deputy Representative, Michele Servadei pointed out that this study is unique in the region, noting that UNICEF decided to expand the implementation of the Child-Friendly Budgeting within its current session between 2013-2017 to include an additional six ministries by the year 2017 of which two have already been included.
On the other hand, Servadei stressed that the CBA study is only a start and that real success lies in utilizing it as a monitoring tool to ensure the inclusion of child-specific allocations within the programs of targeted ministries where they are translated into projects and programs that improve children's quality of life.