UNICEF welcomes Al-Ahsa's joining the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative

Al-Ahsa becomes the first Saudi city to join the leading global initiative

15 June 2022

Al-Ahsa, 15 June 2022 – The city of Al-Ahsa in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UNICEF announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding setting forth joint action aimed at introducing Al-Ahsa to the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative.

His Royal Highness Prince Saud Bin Nayef Bin Abdulaziz is the Governor of the Eastern Province, His Highness Prince Saud bin Talal bin Badr bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Al-Ahsa, and His Excellency Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing witnessed the signing by Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF representative to the Gulf Area and Eng. Essam Al-Mulla, Mayor of Al-Ahsa.

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes a multi-stage joint programme. It starts with an in-depth analysis of the situation of child rights in Al-Ahsa, to develop and implement an action plan aimed at turning Al-Ahsa into a child-friendly city after fulfilling specific criteria and objectives.

"Al-Ahsa engaging in the Child-Friendly Cities initiative is a turning point in the urban landscape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF Representative to the Gulf Area. “I congratulate all children and people of Al-Ahsa and reaffirm UNICEF's commitment to supporting municipal governments in realizing the rights of children under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I hope that more Saudi cities will follow in the footsteps of Al-Ahsa."

Since its launch in 1996, the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative has helped cities and municipalities around the world develop effective programmes to realize the rights of children by creating spaces within urban areas where children can access services in a healthy and safe environment, and feel safe to play, learn and grow. The initiative also seeks to ensure that children's voices are heard, and that their needs are taken into consideration in government budgets and plans.

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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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