Saudi Arabia’s social protection system to ensure equitable distribution

Dr. Khalid Al-Manzalawi, deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN. (File photo)
Updated 16 February 2019

Saudi Arabia’s social protection system to ensure equitable distribution

  • Al-Manzalawi: Saudi Arabia had finished developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with poverty
  • Integration of disabled people in labor market top priority, UN meeting told

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has told a UN meeting that it has developed a system of social protection to protect low-income families in cooperation with government agencies.
The system will give priority to eradicating poverty and raising the standard of living within three main areas: Social assistance, social insurance and labor market programs.
The news came in a speech delivered by the deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, Dr. Khalid Al-Manzalawi, during the general debate at the 57th session of the UN Commission for Social Development.
“The Kingdom is currently undertaking several economic reforms to reduce the fiscal deficit, stimulate non-oil revenues and reduce subsidies and tax legislation,” he said.
Al-Manzalawi added that poverty is one of the most important global problems, to the extent that the UN has made addressing it one of its priorities, developing 17 development programs that aim to lift societies out of such hardship.
“Looking closely, we note that the problem is not just economic, but is highly related to social, cultural, legal and political changes,” he said. “Therefore, poverty differs from one society to another, and so does the way of dealing with it. However, there are common strategic foundations that can be adopted by all societies to solve this problem, though they can be implemented in different methods and mechanisms.”
He said that the Kingdom had finished developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with poverty. This strategy includes initiatives and projects that will contribute to improving living standards.
He said that the Kingdom has taken many measures to promote social security for people with disabilities and achieve their social integration. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs also supervises the work of 38 rehabilitation shelters for people with special needs and the Kingdom is home to 44 specialized associations and 347 day-care centers that serve disabled people of all ages.
He said that the Kingdom has developed a national plan for people with disabilities. This covers 23 initiatives aimed at taking care of them, developing a standard classification for disabilities and national databases that constitute the reference point to follow up on related regulations and policies, along with leading the implementation of the work plan and empowering, raising awareness and providing support and consultation.
One of the 37 objectives of the National Transformation Program 2020 is to empower the integration of disabled people in the labor market.
In his speech before the UN, Al-Manzalawi said: “The Kingdom has promoted women’s place by developing their potentials and investment to activate their role on the local and international levels.
“Vision 2030 sheds light on the efforts needed to guarantee women empowerment in societal and economic development and present them as influential and effective members on all levels.”
He also highlighted the Kingdom’s commitment to investing in the education sector, where it has provided free education at all levels in the Kingdom, including higher education.
Al-Manzalawi ended his speech by stressing that the Kingdom will always work with the UN and the international community to achieve the objectives of Sustainable Development 2030 and a bright future for future generations.


Saudi Arabian delegation holds UNESCO reception in Paris

Updated 15 November 2019

Saudi Arabian delegation holds UNESCO reception in Paris

  • Session attended by permanent delegates of UNESCO member states
  • Hosted by Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh

PARIS: The permanent Saudi delegation to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held a reception to mark the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The session was held in the presence of the Saudi education minister and deputy chairman of the National Committee for UNESCO, Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh.
The session was attended by the permanent delegates of UNESCO member states and senior officials from the organization.
“Today, we see the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 objectives coincide with UNESCO’s mission through the Kingdom’s keenness to support educational, cultural and scientific projects around the world because of its regional and international status, and its roles in strengthening relations between Arab and Islamic countries and the global agenda for sustainable development in the organization’s educational, cultural and scientific fields, Al-Asheikh said in his speech.
He affirmed the Kingdom’s continued cooperation with UNESCO member states in the fields of education, culture and science, and its continued support for the organization’s programs.
He said the Kingdom is one of the founding members of UNESCO, and the sixth country to sign the organization’s charter, on Nov. 4, 1946, upon the directives of the late King Abdul Aziz.