Toll-Free Number to Communicate with Citizens Abroad
|Date:||Dec 09, 2013|
|Source:||Al Sharq Newspaper|
The Information Systems Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a toll-free service for citizens while traveling abroad. The first stage of this service covers 82 countries, and work is already underway to include 16 other countries as a second stage.
Dr. Saif Al Kuwari, Director of the Information Systems Department, said at a news conference that" Launching this toll-free service for citizens while traveling is an addition to (Tawasul) service, and aims to facilitate reaching citizen and serving their interests abroad, in line with the Ministry's vision to provide services to citizens". According to him, "it has been agreed, in collaboration with (Ooredoo), with 82 countries, as a first stage, to have this service provided free of charge to Qatari citizens, and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will undertake the costs.”
He pointed out that work to provide this toll-free number service in 16 other countries is now underway, as a second stage , stressing that projects like this one will not stop, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs endeavors to improve its services provided to citizens, all the time.
Al-Kuwari said: "We tried to unify or minimize the number of the toll-free numbers for these countries, but we were able to provide one number, which is 80008000100, in 42 countries only; the remaining countries will have different numbers", pointing out that a Ministry’s welcome message will reach citizens upon arrival to any country, which advises citizen that they could contact the toll-free number through a mobile phone or a land line, or both, depending on the country they are in.”
He pointed out that this service was arranged by the Duty Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to help citizens in emergency situations, adding that “The Duty Office will communicate the information received, as and when received, to the concerned authorities to provide assistance."
On his part , Ambassador Mohammed bin Ali Al Badi, Assistant Director of the Duty Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a briefing on the duties and responsibilities of the Duty Office, indicating that “the Office was established 11 years ago, with the aim of providing services to officials outside the Ministry’s official working hours”, adding that a new service (Tawasul) was subsequently introduced to provide assistance, guidance and advice to citizens abroad as well as consultation to residents, as and when required.”
In response to whether cases of citizens being exposed to problems abroad have been reported, Ambassador Yousef Al-Muftah, Director of the Duty Office, said that the number of cases was not that much, but it normally increases in the summer period, pointing out that this toll-free number facilitates linking citizens abroad with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; to provide them with whatever sort of help they needed..