Saudi Arabia’s social protection system to ensure equitable distribution

Dr. Khalid Al-Manzalawi, deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN. (File photo)
Updated 16 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s social protection system to ensure equitable distribution

  • Al-Manzalawi: Saudi Arabia had finished developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with poverty
  • Integration of disabled people in labor market top priority, UN meeting told

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has told a UN meeting that it has developed a system of social protection to protect low-income families in cooperation with government agencies.
The system will give priority to eradicating poverty and raising the standard of living within three main areas: Social assistance, social insurance and labor market programs.
The news came in a speech delivered by the deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, Dr. Khalid Al-Manzalawi, during the general debate at the 57th session of the UN Commission for Social Development.
“The Kingdom is currently undertaking several economic reforms to reduce the fiscal deficit, stimulate non-oil revenues and reduce subsidies and tax legislation,” he said.
Al-Manzalawi added that poverty is one of the most important global problems, to the extent that the UN has made addressing it one of its priorities, developing 17 development programs that aim to lift societies out of such hardship.
“Looking closely, we note that the problem is not just economic, but is highly related to social, cultural, legal and political changes,” he said. “Therefore, poverty differs from one society to another, and so does the way of dealing with it. However, there are common strategic foundations that can be adopted by all societies to solve this problem, though they can be implemented in different methods and mechanisms.”
He said that the Kingdom had finished developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with poverty. This strategy includes initiatives and projects that will contribute to improving living standards.
He said that the Kingdom has taken many measures to promote social security for people with disabilities and achieve their social integration. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs also supervises the work of 38 rehabilitation shelters for people with special needs and the Kingdom is home to 44 specialized associations and 347 day-care centers that serve disabled people of all ages.
He said that the Kingdom has developed a national plan for people with disabilities. This covers 23 initiatives aimed at taking care of them, developing a standard classification for disabilities and national databases that constitute the reference point to follow up on related regulations and policies, along with leading the implementation of the work plan and empowering, raising awareness and providing support and consultation.
One of the 37 objectives of the National Transformation Program 2020 is to empower the integration of disabled people in the labor market.
In his speech before the UN, Al-Manzalawi said: “The Kingdom has promoted women’s place by developing their potentials and investment to activate their role on the local and international levels.
“Vision 2030 sheds light on the efforts needed to guarantee women empowerment in societal and economic development and present them as influential and effective members on all levels.”
He also highlighted the Kingdom’s commitment to investing in the education sector, where it has provided free education at all levels in the Kingdom, including higher education.
Al-Manzalawi ended his speech by stressing that the Kingdom will always work with the UN and the international community to achieve the objectives of Sustainable Development 2030 and a bright future for future generations.


Saudi space chief visits Moscow mission control center

Updated 20 April 2019
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Saudi space chief visits Moscow mission control center

  • Prince Sultan bin Salman was received by the center’s supervisor
  • He also visited the General Corporation for Heavy Space Industries, which is responsible for manufacturing spacecraft and developing technology

MOSCOW: The chairman of the Saudi Space Commission on Saturday visited the Moscow headquarters of Russia’s mission control center.
Prince Sultan bin Salman was received by the center’s supervisor, who briefed him on the center’s work and programs, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
They discussed establishing scientific and research cooperation in the areas of space and aeronautics, and the International Space Station.
Prince Sultan also visited the General Corporation for Heavy Space Industries, which is responsible for manufacturing spacecraft and developing technology. It produces most parts of the International Space Station.
He said his visit was in line with directives from King Salman to ensure close cooperation with Russia in the space sector and joint investments.
The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) was working at a “rapid pace” to complete an ambitious national strategy, he said, and the Kingdom was one of the region’s first countries to explore the future of space more than 34 years ago.
He added that programs were being prepared in partnership with Russian space institutions and agencies to train Saudi astronauts and to expand in space and satellite industries.
The prince said the commission was keen to invest in training Saudi talent through specialized programs and educational scholarships abroad.
Earlier this week, he visited the headquarters of the Russian space agency Roscosmos for a working session alongside its director-general, Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin.
“Russia considers Saudi Arabia a serious partner, with a great regional and international influence,” SPA reported Rogozin as saying.
Last month, Saudi Arabia and 10 other countries signed the first pan-Arab agreement on coordinating national exploration programs at the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi.
The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, said that the group’s first project would be a satellite system to be built in the UAE.
The agreement is unprecedented for the nations involved, whose levels of technical expertise vary. The first aim of the agreement will be to bring them all up to an equal level of capability.