Sharjah, UAE,July 10, 2017(WAM)-- Sharjah has taken yet another step in its efforts to make the Emirate a truly age-friendly city since it joined the World Health Organization’s Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities this year. The Higher Follow-Up Committee for Sharjah’s Membership in the Age-Friendly Cities Global Network met today with coordinators from various Sharjah government entities to monitor and follow up on the Emirate’s efforts as the first Arab city to join the network and also present the Committee’s strategic plan 2017-2020, which is to be implemented across all sectors with the participation of all government entities in the Emirate.
Among those attending the meeting were Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Head of Statistics and Community Development Department, Ahmad Al Meil, the Rapporteur of the Committee, and Asma Al Khodari, Director of the Committee’s Executive Office, as well as coordinators and officials from Sharjah government institutions and departments.
4-Year Strategic Plan
The meeting outlined four main objectives of the Committee’s 4-year strategic plan. These include improving services offered to older members of the society across various sectors and ensuring their sustainability; preparing the community for a demographic shift in favour of the elderly as a result of rapid aging of the population, expansion of cities and advanced care; achieving administrative excellence at the level of the Committee’s work to ensure implementation of initiatives aimed at preparing the Emirate for joining the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities; and enabling the elderly to integrate into society and share their experiences by strengthening the legislative environment that supports and protects their rights.
First Age-Friendly City in Region
Sharjah is the first Arab city among 414 major cities from around the world and one of the two Middle Eastern cities – the other one being Tehran – to join the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities.
In January this year, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, issued an administrative decree (No. 2 of 2017) formally heralding the Emirate’s decision to join the Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities.
However, the efforts on this front by the Emirate have been going on for years, in order to turn Sharjah into a city that cares for and is friendly to all age groups in general and the elderly and infirm in particular. This envisages creating world-class infrastructure, utilities and social services that take care of the needs and concerns of the elderly.
The administrative decree issued by HH the Ruler of Sharjah underlines the importance of environment in determining healthy ageing and encouraging the creation of age-friendly environment in the Emirate. It aims to create a physical, healthy, social, economic and culturally sustainable environment in Sharjah, making the Emirate the best place for the elderly people to be and enjoy a quality life.
It was in 2006 that the WHO developed the criteria for Age-Friendly Cities and the network currently includes 33 cities from 22 countries.