Stipends end for 600,000 beneficiaries of Hafiz

Updated 23 November 2012
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Stipends end for 600,000 beneficiaries of Hafiz

A monthly stipend for 600,000 unemployed youths will be stopped from this month, an official of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) said Wednesday.
The stipend scheme was originally intended for 12 months. “There will be no extension of the unemployment stipend to a second stage. The royal order on the matter is clear,” Director of HRDF Ibrahim Al-Moiqil said in a press conference after signing agreements with 25 private employment offices for the employment of Saudis in the private sector at the headquarters of the fund in Riyadh.
The unemployment allowance was introduced as part of the Hafiz program, which aimed to increase job opportunities for youths with intensive training programs in professions required in the job market.
“Even if the stipend payment is limited to 12 months, the project’s training and placement service will continue,” Al-Moiqil said.
However, he added that the HRDF is studying what more could be done through the Hafiz program. "Newly registered youths who are qualified for grants are given monthly stipends," he said. The Labor Ministry, in collaboration with the Finance Ministry, launched the Hafiz program under the directive of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah at the end of last year. The program pays a monthly allowance of SR 2,000 to unemployed Saudi men and women.
However, Moiqil noted with concern that a large number of youths registered with the Hafiz refused to accept jobs with salaries of even up to SR 8,000 a month.
“Some health diploma holders in the health sector refused to accept jobs in the private sector even if the salary offered to them was not less than the government sector,” he added.
He also disapproved of the lax attitude of some beneficiaries of the project. “About 70 percent of registered youth do not update their data as required by the Hafiz regulation, particularly in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, unlike the youth in other cities and towns.
The updating is simple and needs only a little time. The update is also required for their selection for training projects,” he said.
The official warned that if anyone submitted false data to benefit from the stipend that person would have to return all the money he/she received from the fund.
The HRDF started payment of unemployment grants at the end of last year. Close to two million unemployed youth, a considerable number of them women, have applied for the stipend.
The unemployment rate in the Kingdom stood at 10.5 percent in 2010, according to a statement of Labor Minister Adel Fakeih.
Women’s unemployment was gauged at above 28 percent.


Yemen FM: No peace before Houthi disarmament

The Arab coalition is striving to rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis, says Yemen’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani. File/Getty Images
Updated 26 May 2018
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Yemen FM: No peace before Houthi disarmament

  • Alongside military operations, the coalition is undertaking humanitarian work to “rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis
  • The Houthis’ “weapons and missiles must be handed over, and there is no room for dialogue or negotiation about them

LONDON: There cannot be peace in Yemen unless Houthi militias abandon their arms, said the country’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani.

The internationally recognized government will not allow Iran, which backs the Houthis, to maintain a foothold in Yemen or interfere in its internal affairs, he added.
“This terrorist regime” in Tehran, “which supplies terrorist militias all over the world, is close to collapse as a result of international and popular pressure by the Iranian people, who are suffering as their terrorist state spends billions here and there for a foolish expansionist idea,” Al-Yamani said.
“The modern and civilized world that respects international law cannot accept the existence of a state sponsor of terrorism and all subversive and terrorist militias in the region,” he added.
“If Iran wants to be part of the social, cultural and political fabric of our region, it must rationalize its behavior.” Its “terrorist behavior… encourages the spread of violence in the region,” he said.
Al-Yamani added that he will start his tenure as foreign minister by focusing on negotiations and the efforts of the UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths.
The government is working round the clock with the envoy’s office so he can present his ideas on June 7 after consultations with the government, Al-Yamani said.
There will be meetings in the next few days with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and a special meeting with the negotiating team, all within the framework of the envoy’s efforts in the region, Al-Yamani added.
Griffiths has visited several countries in the region, and has met with Yemen’s government and the leadership of the Saudi-led Arab coalition.
The Houthis “suggest that political arrangements should come before security and military arrangements,” said Al-Yamani.
But “the coup against the state in January 2015 came as a result of the preference of political over security arrangements,” he added.
“And after the Houthis achieved their goals, they turned against the national consensus reflected in the peace and partnership agreement, under which the president provided facilities to save the homeland from the fate we have reached today,” Al-Yamani said.
“We cannot talk about any political arrangements because we consider them to be a foregone conclusion if we achieve the withdrawal and delivery of heavy and medium weapons and missiles,” he added. “We cannot retry something we tried before... The coup must end.”
The Houthis’ “weapons and missiles must be handed over, and there is no room for dialogue or negotiation about them,” he said. “Heavy and medium weapons should be handed over, and those militias must be withdrawn.”
Al-Yamani criticized Iran’s ambassador to the UN for speaking in dovish language while his country causes destruction in Yemen.
“Most of what we have been able to remove of the mines planted by the Houthis had the trademark of Iranian industry,” Al-Yamani said.
“Even if we achieve peace today, we will need decades to demine... There will be no possibility of safe living in the areas where mines were planted.”
Al-Yamani expressed the gratitude of his government and people for the Saudi-led coalition’s support for the government to achieve security and peace in Yemen and the whole region.
Alongside military operations, the coalition is undertaking humanitarian work to “rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis, rebuild the Yemeni psyche destroyed by the war, distribute goods throughout Yemen, and reconstruct what was destroyed by the Houthi war machine,” he said.
“All this confirms that the project of restoring the state… is the project of life,” which is “opposed to the project of death brought by Iran and its Houthi militias to Yemen,” he added.
This interview is simultaneously published in Asharq Al-Awsat.