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UNICEF MENA Regional Social Policy Advisor Visits Iran on Multi-dimensional Child Poverty

Tehran June 30th 2015- UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Social Policy Advisor, Mr. Arthur Van Diesen, made a  one week visit to Iran from 14 to 22 June 2015 as part of a joint cooperation between UNICEF Iran Office and the Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare(MCLSW) on multi-dimensional child poverty.

During his stay, Mr. Van Diesen attended a number of meetings with senior officials including Deputy Minister for Social Welfare of the Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare, Dr. Ahmad Meidari, as well as head of the State Welfare Organization, Mr. Anooshiravan Mohseni Bandpey, as well as other relevant organizations during which he presented global and regional perspectives on reducing child poverty.

He also held a half day training workshop on multi-dimensional child poverty for the members of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s poverty working group attended by members representing various organizations including Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare, Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, the State Welfare Organization, and Statistical Centre of Iran.

Mr. Van Diesen said he was pleased to know that Iran has established a poverty working group and added: “poverty is a very complicated concept and in most cases goes beyond economic poverty in definition. When we are talking about child poverty, it is even more important to look into the different dimensions of poverty.”

As part of his mission, UNICEF Regional Social Policy Advisor, accompanied by a delegation from UNICEF Iran Office, travelled to Karaj to meet with the members of Alborz Province’s Social and Cultural Affairs Working Group on the issue of out-of-school children.

In the meeting with Alborz Provincial officials, UNICEF Representative in Iran, Dr Gianni Murzi, appreciated the good level of cooperation that exists between UNICEF and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, particularly with the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare and emphasized UNICEF’s mandate to support the Government in their efforts to combat childhood poverty. Welcoming the Government of Iran’s efforts to address the issue of out-of-school children, Dr Murzi emphasized the need for a coordinated and inter-sectoral approach in this regard and said:" When it comes to the issue of out-of-school children, firstly we need know who these children are and why they are out of school.” He added: "Once there is a clear picture of why children are out of school, appropriate interventions to address the various barriers identified might be planned. This process requires close collaboration of all the stakeholders, specially the Ministries of Social Welfare and Education."

Several key government officials were also present in this meeting held in Alborz Provincial Governor’s Office including Alborz Province Deputy Governor General for Security, Political and Social Affairs Dr. Hojat Molla-Salehi,  Director General of Alborz State Welfare Organisation Dr Afrooz Bahrami, Vice Minister for International Affairs of the MCLSW, Dr Mohammad Taghi Hosseini, as well as Director General of the Bureau for Social Harms of the MCLSW, Dr Roozbeh Kardouni.

In the last leg of his mission, Mr Van Diesen joined a team of education experts from UNICEF Regional Office who were on an official visit to Iran to introduce the Out-Of-School Children Initiative methodology in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare.

Mr. Van Diesen left Iran to Amman on June 22nd 2015.

From Right, UNICEF  Regional Social Policy Advisor, Mr. Arthur Van Diesen and UNICEF Iran Representative meet with Deputy Minister for Social Welfare of the Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare, Dr. Ahmad Meidari on child povrty.

Members of Iran’s poverty working group, met with UNICEF regional social policy advisor, Mr. Arthur Van Diesen on multidimensional child poverty.



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