The UAE wants to avoid a society dependent on social welfare, officials say
Abu Dhabi government's Department of Community Development will create a safety net for Emiratis with limited income, a top government official has said.
Addressing the media on the sidelines of a forum to provide a dignified life for all members of society in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, the chairman of the newly formed Department of Community Development, said the top priority of the government is to extend social support to Emiratis financially and enhance their skills.
“We are committed to supporting Emiratis with limited income in the emirate by helping them lead productive lives,” he added. “We want our citizens in Abu Dhabi to benefit from the advances made by our city.”
The safety net is part of several initiatives announced by the Executive Committee of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council to drive the society pillar of the Abu Dhabi Development Accelerator Programme 'Ghadan 21'.
With a focus on education and employment, housing and communities, and social support, these initiatives will ensure that every member of the community, especially those with limited income, can achieve a higher quality of life, said Dr. Al Khaili.
In collaboration with several strategic partners, the Department will roll out various programmes that enable families to become financially independent. The first set of programmes are scheduled to be introduced in the first quarter of 2019.
In April, the UAE Cabinet approved as much as AED11 billion in social assistance for low-income groups over the next three years.
Almost 39,000 Emiratis in Abu Dhabi received welfare payments in 2013, up from about 25,300 in 2011. The total value of aid had also grown from AED665 million to AED806m during the same time.
New data is to be collected at the end of March 2019 to provide accurate numbers.