Survey to determine number of poor in Saudi Arabia



RIYADH: SHARIF M. TAHA | ARAB NEWS/AL-EQTISADIAH

Published — Wednesday 27 February 2013

Last update 27 February 2013 5:18 am

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A survey is currently under way to determine the number of poor in Saudi Arabia. Researchers will also draw up a definition and indicators of poverty in the country, local media reported quoting reliable sources.
The project was approved within the current budget (1434-35) of the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI), the sources said.
A team of researchers are currently conducting the survey on the income and spending of Saudi families. The one-year survey, which will be the basis for all future research, is scheduled to be completed next Shawwal (August), said Director General of the CDSI Mahanna Abdulkarim Al-Mahanna.
The survey is being conducted with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education and will include other similar field studies by specialized teams covering all parts of the Kingdom, he was quoted as saying.
The survey on the income and spending of Saudi families will show the social and economic levels of these families to reflect the true living standards in society, experts said.
Consumer spending on goods and services will help planners determine demand and its impact on prices. The survey will also help government identify those who need social security programs. The survey is taking place over one year, using samples of different families, so that researchers can identify patterns over certain times, the sources said.
Earlier, Social Affairs Minister Yousuf Al-Othaimeen told the Shoura Council that efforts are under way to tackle poverty by addressing four major areas: unemployment, housing, low income, and the even distribution of government projects.
The minister outlined the second phase of the national development strategy (NDS) which is aimed at fighting poverty in the Kingdom. The NDS includes an allocation of SR 100 million for the establishment of a franchise project and another SR 476 million to support needy students by allocating them university seats and housing facilities.
Meanwhile, the ministry is currently conducting a comprehensive review of the poverty strategy related to the National Charity Fund, formerly known as the Charity Fund for Redressing Poverty.

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