Kingdom’s global aid surpasses UN target

Updated 16 June 2016
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Kingdom’s global aid surpasses UN target

GENEVA: Saudi Arabia is a key partner in international development and among the world's top donors as the provision of external assistance and donations are major aspects of its foreign policy.
In a speech delivered at the Human Rights Council by Faisal bin Trad, Saudi ambassador to the UN, in Geneva, said that the Kingdom is keen to proceed with its policy of providing assistance to many Islamic and non-Islamic countries.
He said the total aid Saudi Arabia provided for developing countries from 1973 to 2009 amounted to $99.75 billion, surpassing the UN targeted rate of development aid worth 0.7 percent out of the gross domestic product of donor countries.
During a dialogue session held by the Human Rights Council with the UN rapporteur in charge of poverty and human rights Phillipe Altson, Trad said Saudi Arabia pays great attention to combating poverty and achieving a reasonable living level at both domestic and foreign levels.
He said the Social Insurance Act has endorsed Article 3, which states the rights of obtaining a monthly bursary for the orphans, disabled and elders who have no sponsors, unsponsored families and those with unknown parents aging above 18.
More than 875,000 families in the Kingdom, he said, will benefit from the services of social insurance, bringing over SR1,150,000,000 monthly the amount paid by the government to needy ones.
He said the social security system has given under Article (13) the Minister of Labor and Social Development the power to disburse cash assistance of up to SR30,000 per beneficiary he sees it deserves. The ministry also provides aid for individual emergencies (such as flood damages, fire or natural disaster) that require speedy help after examining their condition from all sides, he stressed.
It has also implemented a number of support programs to help the beneficiaries of social security. These programs “security assistance to cases in the program, and spending more than SR709,616,133 per month. There are also the furniture program for housing beneficiaries with the ministry spending more than SR6.001.428 per month for school uniforms and school bag and it spent, quarterly, over SR35,215,680, in coordination with the Ministry of Education, he pointed out.
In recognition of the importance of addressing poverty and consequent negative implications that affect family’s ability to meet child’s right to life development and education and to provide the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, health care, continue to study, in addition to acquisition of reading and writing, the Kingdom has taken steps and effective measures for eradication of poverty, at all levels, Ambassador Trad said. The Kingdom has forged a national strategy for social development adopted by the Ministry of Labor and social development.
In line with this strategy, huge additional financial resources have been allocated to provide a wide variety of care, social and economic services support for the poor and groups with special needs, through the ministry, NGOs and programs group. Among the most important steps taken by the Kingdom to achieve this are the following:
(A) Introduction of “complementary support program” to bridge the gap between actual income (for families, individuals and extreme poor) and the poverty line, according to the animated poverty lines studies officially adopted in the UK and up to support a 264 million Riyals per annum.
(B) Social Charity Fund’s support of $300 million annually to work on the reduction of poverty.
(C) Increasing provisions provided for orphans and people with special circumstances equivalent to SR 82 million per annum, including foster families subsidies, school subsidies, reward on the end of incubation and rewards for orphanages.
(D) Establishment of a program called “emergency assistance” for families under the extreme poverty line, facing emergency situations, a critical cause of increased suffering, or exposure to the problems, such as the death of a breadwinner, imprisonment, illness or children’s disease or/ and fire accidents, at home. Natural disasters and the like, are also have been considered, he stated.
Ambassador Trad said that civil society organizations play important role in providing the poor with social support, as charitable associations are the basis for the provision of care services and social support for the poor and those with special needs, so the total number of charities of the year 2009/2010, stood at 564 Associations, with the spread of NGOs in all regions of the Kingdom and programs to cover a wide variety of fields, including orphans care, care of the elderly, the infirm and those with special needs, such as: orphans, persons with disabilities, the fight against illiteracy and rehabilitation of crafts women with selected trades and activities.
All that take place, at areas that are not accessible to social development centers of the state services, in order to form local committees to achieve social goals. 2009/2010 data show that the total civil committees amounted to 357, he said, adding that the Kingdom seeks to achieve the National Strategic Social Development, so it recently established a foundation for social undertaking with a budget of SR 500 million, he asserted, indicating that it is confined to the foundation’s work in caring for those in need, male and female students, who are in more than 30,000 schools for boys and girls, governmental and private, throughout the Kingdom, helping them to promote their academic achievement, relieving them from the effects of poverty and those whose families face physical conditions or social or health emergency, he added.
In conclusion, Ambassador Trad said that state services, including: Education, health care and social development are secured in all parts of the Kingdom through the relevant ministries, and to ensure access to all the targeted and needy groups, with the availability of the control mechanisms of government and the civil calendar which are usually looking for imbalances and deficiencies to address when discovered.
As a result of these efforts, the available data of the national strategy for social development has made it clear that the percentage of Saudi families that live below the extreme poverty line (food poverty) reached in 2004 about 1.63 percent, decreased in 2008 to about 0.8 percent, a decrease of 50 percent, he confirmed.


Preachers of Hate: Arab News launches series to expose hate-mongers from all religions

Updated 4 min 42 sec ago
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Preachers of Hate: Arab News launches series to expose hate-mongers from all religions

  • Daesh may be defeated, but the bigoted ideas that fueled their extremism live on
  • Campaign could not be more timely, with a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Christchurch attacks

RIYADH: Dozens of Daesh militants emerged from tunnels to surrender to Kurdish-led forces in eastern Syria on Sunday, a day after their “caliphate” was declared defeated.

Men filed out of the battered Daesh encampment in the riverside village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border to board pickup trucks. “They are fighters who came out of tunnels and surrendered today,” Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Jiaker Amed said. “Some others could still be hiding inside.”

World leaders hail Saturday’s capture of the last shred of land controlled by Daesh in Syria, but the top foreign affairs official for the semi-autonomous Kurdish region warned that Daesh captives still posed a threat.

“There are thousands of fighters, children and women and from 54 countries, not including Iraqis and Syrians, who are a serious burden and danger for us and for the international community,” Abdel Karim Omar said. “Numbers increased massively during the last 20 days of the Baghouz operation.”

 While the terrorists have a suffered a defeat, the pernicious ideologies that drive them, and the hate speech that fuels those ideologies, live on. For that reason Arab News today launches Preachers of Hate — a weekly series, published in print and online, in which we profile, contextualize and analyze extremist preachers from all religions, backgrounds and nationalities.

In the coming weeks, our subjects will include the Saudi cleric Safar Al-Hawali, the Egyptian preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the American-Israeli rabbi Meir Kahane, the Yemeni militia leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, and the US pastor Terry Jones, among others.

The series begins today with an investigation into the background of Brenton Tarrant, the Australian white supremacist who shot dead 50 people in a terrorist attack 10 days ago on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Tarrant is not just a terrorist, but is himself a Preacher of Hate, author of a ranting manifesto that attempts to justify his behavior. How did a shy, quiet boy from rural New South Wales turn into a hate-filled gunman intent on killing Muslims? The answers may surprise you.

Our series could not be more timely — anti-Muslim hate crimes in the UK have soared by almost 600 percent since the Christchurch attack, it was revealed on Sunday.

The charity Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), which records and measures anti-Muslim incidents, said almost all of the increase comprised “language, symbols or actions linked to the Christchurch attacks.”

“Cases included people making gestures of pointing a pistol at Muslim women and comments about British Muslims and an association with actions taken by the terrorist in New Zealand,” the charity said.

“The spike shows a troubling rise after Muslims were murdered in New Zealand,” said Iman Atta, director of Tell MAMA. “Figures have risen over 590 percent since New Zealand in comparison to the week just before the attack.