Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Bernama file pix)
PUTRAJAYA, June 21 (Bernama) -- Five ministries are to develop a national Children's Well-Being Roadmap to address issues that cover nutrition, education, housing and poverty in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today.
They are the ministries of Women, Family and Community Development; Education; Health; Rural Development; and Home Affairs, she said.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said there was a need to develop a more integrated, coordinated and coherent approach to dealing with stunted and marginalised children, including stateless children and children of refugees.
She said the inputs for the roadmap framework would be sought and organised at the meetings at senior officers level.
"The deadline for the roadmap is one month and the ministers in charge will monitor the progress within each ministry. Soon, we will see a comprehensive and workable action plan to address these problems," she told reporters after chairing an inter-ministerial meeting here.
The meeting, which was also attended by the United Nations Children's Fund deputy representative Amjad Rabi, discussed defining the guiding principles, strategic objective setting and the formulation of the programmes.
Dr Wan Azizah said the political secretaries from the ministries would serve in the steering committee for the roadmap and development, with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry as the secretariat.
She said that from 1989 to 2017, the government spent RM287 million on programmes for children's well-being.
"We spent a lot of money but the results are not as what we wanted. We can't claim to be a caring society if we ignore and neglect those who are most in need of care."
"We can't talk about developing a better future if one in three and one in four children live in poor conditions," she said, adding that it was necessary to work together to transcend all silos and boundaries.
Dr Wan Azizah said the Cost-of-Living Aid, previously known as the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), was good but it failed to take into account the differences in the poverty of every recipient.
"A household that has eight children and one with only one child receive similar aid. We have to also compare the poverty in each state," she said.
She said the country had to change the practice of providing welfare aid to providing sustainable aid for the people to become self-reliant and raise their living standard.