SR708bn spent on social services

42An analysis by the Aleqtesdiah newspaper has revealed that the government allocated around SR528 billion for social services during the past five years which, with last year’s allocations, takes the total value to SR708 billion.

Social services included in the report were focused on the Health Ministry, the Red Crescent, Ministries of Labor, Social Affairs, Haj, Islamic Affairs, Municipal and Rural Affairs and Water and Electricity. This money is spent on salaries of the ministries’ employees and projects carried out by these ministries.

In the 2014 budget, the state allocated approximately SR180 billion for social services, SR108 billion for health services, SR29 billion for treating the poor, disabled, orphans and social security, while SR39 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, and SR33 billion for projects to be implemented by the state.

Health services took the lion’s share of this budget from 2009 until 2013, with around SR214 billion, which is 41 percent of the total value of money allocated to social services, followed by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs with SR112 billion, which is 21 percent of total allocations.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs spends these allocations on urban planning for cities and their infrastructure, in addition to beautifying rural and municipal areas.

The Ministry of Social Affairs ranked third with regard to budget allocations with SR106 billion during the past four years, which accounts for 20 percent of total budgetary allocations.

The ministry spends this money on providing dignified living standard for citizens across all social sectors by implementing programs such as social welfare and social development programs, in addition to social security to help poor families.

The Ministry of Water and Electricity ranked No. 4 with SR72 billion (14 percent). The Ministry of Islamic Affairs ranked fifth with SR21 billion. This ministry takes care of charitable Waqf and its employees, in addition to taking care of mosques and prayer sites. It also supervises King Fahd Complex for printing the Qur’an and organizing local and international competitions for memorizing and interpreting the Qur’an.

In sixth place came the Ministry of Labor with SR2.7 billion (1 percent). The ministry spends its allocations on organizing labor force, planning for the development of human resource, settling labor disputes in the private sector, in addition to employing Saudis.

The Ministry of Haj ranked last with SR1.3 billion, which is below 1 percent of total budgetary allocations. It spends its money on granting Haj and Umrah visas for Muslims and facilitates their movement to and from Makkah.

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