Kingdom’s global aid surpasses UN target
Kingdom’s global aid surpasses UN target
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.