KSA has lowest poverty rate in Arab world: WB report

Updated 08 November 2013

KSA has lowest poverty rate in Arab world: WB report

Saudi Arabia ranked 10th globally and first in the Arab world in terms of the lowest poverty rate, according to a recent poverty report released by the World Bank.
“Jobs can provide a transformational path out of poverty for men, women and youth. Beyond an individual’s income, jobs can bring great value to society through their broad influence on living standards, productivity and social cohesion,” said Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group.
He added: “The World Bank has set an interim target to reduce global poverty to 9 percent in 2020, which, if achieved, would mark the first time the rate has fallen into single digit.”
According to the report, those who are not able to live with basic needs such as food, clothing, housing and health care are considered in extreme poverty.
“The results of the work aim at helping to overcome poverty and create opportunities for people in developing countries,” the report said.
Taiwan ranked first, with the lowest poverty rate of 1.5 percent globally, followed by Malaysia at 3.8 percent, Ireland at 5.5 percent, Austria at 6.2 percent, Thailand and France at 7.8 percent, Switzerland at 7.9 percent, Canada at 9.4 percent, the Netherlands at 10.5 percent, and Saudi Arabia at 12.7 percent.
Chad, Haiti and Liberia rank as the poorest countries worldwide, with more than 80 percent of their populations living in extreme poverty.
The Saudi government has spent billions of riyals annually to provide better education, health care and infrastructure facilities to decrease the growing number of poor people.
The government also provides allowances, monthly benefits and payments for food and utility bills to the poor, elderly, disabled, orphans and workers who are injured on the job.
Moreover, the government’s main focus is on reducing poverty, raising standards of living, increasing productivity of the economy, strengthening the science and technology base, fostering a solid research and development capacity, and enhancing the performance of the public sector.
Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter and spends more than 4 percent of its total GDP annually on donations and humanitarian aid that reaches people in more than 110 countries around the globe.

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

Updated 21 November 2019

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

  • Saudi Arabia has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies, king says
  • Kingdom also welcomed US decision to return Iran's Fordow nuclear facility to its sanctions list

RIYADH: Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

A satellite image from Sept. 15, 2017, of the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington's decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list. 

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. 

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.