Arab News – Social Affairs Minister Majed Al-Qassabi has briefed the Shoura Council members on his ministry’s plans and programs aimed to boost services provided to different categories in the community.
Addressing the 6th session of the Shoura Council here on Tuesday, the minister said he wanted to listen to the views and proposals of the Shoura members that will help push forward social work in the Kingdom.
In this context, the minister appreciated the role of the Shoura Council in studying and supporting of the issuance of donation, juvenile and private organizations systems. He expressed hope that studies on anti-beggary and old people systems will be finalized soon.
The minister responded to a number of questions raised by citizens through the Committee of Social Affairs. To one of the queries, the minister said people with special needs, notably autism patients, and who have gone abroad for treatment, were under study for their return on the directives of a Royal decree in this regard.
On the SR150,000 grant for purchasing vehicles for the handicapped, he said the ministry has given an option to the beneficiary to select a suitable vehicle.
Referring to social security beneficiaries, the minister said they will not be affected by the newly-announced increases in electricity prices and that the ministry is working to find suitable housing products for those who do not have homes.
On social protection, he said there is a plan to establish a family and child council with an aim to at minimize the sufferings of people belonging to this category.
On efforts exerted to fight beggary, he said his ministry is jointly working with the Ministry of Interior in this regard. Accordingly, some 21,000 beggars were arrested in 1436 A.H., of which 9 percent were Saudis.
The minister said there was a partnership with the Ministry of Education to launch awareness and cultural programs for students.
He said the Saudi Credit and Saving Bank (SCSB) has conducted a survey in a number of developed countries on savings, in a bid to remove the culture of loans and borrowing gradually. Some 96 percent of loans provided by the SCSB fall within social loans that exceeded SR11.5 billion in the last 11 months.
On the services provided by the ministry, he said there were 1,400 orphans in nursery and education centers, 480,000 cases benefiting from financial assistance package for the handicapped, 128 specialized centers for people with special needs, of which 9,800 are autism patients.

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