Saudi, UAE allocate $9 bn to support citizens, tackle inflation
In response to the global rise in commodity prices, Saudi and the UAE increased support programs for citizens by 20 billion riyals and 14 billion dirhams, respectively (a total value of about $9 billion).
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has ordered the allocation of 20 billion riyals in financial assistance to deal with the consequences of rising global prices, 10.4 billion riyals of which are direct cash transfers to support social security beneficiaries, the Citizen Account Program, and the Support Program for Small Livestock Breeders. The remaining funds will be used to replenish strategic stocks of basic materials and ensure their availability.
For its part, the UAE, acting on the directives of the President of the State, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, doubled the allocations for the social support program aimed at assisting low-income citizens, with the addition of new items within the program, such as housing, education, and unemployment, as well as inflation allowances in fuel, food, and water, and electricity. According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the social support program will be “restructured” into an integrated program, with allocations doubling from 14 billion dirhams to 28 billion dirhams.
- Allocating 8 billion riyals in additional financial support to the beneficiaries of the Citizen Account Program for the end of the current fiscal year, according to previously announced regulations.
- Allocating two billion riyals for the current fiscal year to disburse an additional one-time pension to social security beneficiaries.
- Re-opening the registration for the Citizen Account Program, according to the previously announced regulations.
- Allocating 480 million riyals in financial support to the beneficiaries of the small livestock program.
- Raising the monthly eligibility level for low-income families to 25 thousand dirhams, based on social status.
- Annual social support allocations will be increased from 2.7 billion dirhams to 5 billion dirhams.
- A monthly housing allowance of between 1500 and 2500 dirhams.
- Unemployed people over the age of 45 are entitled to 5000 dirhams per month.
- For six months, the unemployment benefit is 5000 dirhams per month.
- The food allocation represents 75 percent of the value of food price inflation.
- 50 percent of monthly electricity subsidies for the consumption of less than 4,000 kilowatt hours.
- A 50 percent monthly water subsidy for consumption of less than 26,000 gallons per month.
- The fuel allocation is a monthly subsidy of 85 percent of the increase in fuel prices over 2.1 dirhams per liter.