King Abdullah orders over SR1 billion for poor


Social Affairs Minister Yousuf Al Othaimeen thanked King Abdullah for his humanitarian gesture and commended the government’s efforts to improve the situation of the country’s poor.

All Saudis registered with social insurance are entitled to receive the emergency aid, including the elderly, the sick, widows, the divorced, orphans, prisoners’ families and the abandoned.

Al Othaimeen said his ministry, in coordination with the finance ministry, would take necessary steps for the speedy implementation of the royal decree. “The emergency aid is given to the poor families in addition to the monthly social insurance payment,” he said.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on a massive plan to reduce the Kingdom’s poverty rate to 13.3 percent by the end of this year and bring it down to 2.2 percent by 2020.

Abdullah Al Moaiqel, secretary-general of the National Strategy to Combat Poverty, said a number of programmes had been introduced to fight poverty in the Kingdom. “A family that cannot provide the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, housing, education and health, is considered poor,” he said.

Al Moaiqel put the number of Saudi families living in extreme poverty at 35,000 or 1.63 percent of the total Saudi population. They live on less than SR1,700 a month. There are 409,000 families which spend less than SR3,800 a month and they represent 18.9 percent of the population, he explained.


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