The United Arab Emirates is doubling the financial support it provides for low-income Emirati families to AED28 billion ($7.6 billion) to help them with soaring living costs in the Gulf state.
The expanded budget allocation, directed by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, includes increasing existing benefits and establishing new ones targeted at mitigating the impact of inflation on food prices, and rising fuel and household energy costs.
The move is aimed at raising the annual social support allocation from AED2.7 billion ($734 million) to AED5 billion ($1.3 billion) to ensure family and social stability and provide the citizens with a decent life.
The program, overseen by the Ministry of Community Development, covers various social aspects for national families with limited income, including the allowances of the head of the family, the wife, and the children.
It also covers financial support for housing and other basic needs such as food, water, electricity and fuel, in addition to temporary financial support for the unemployed who are over 45 years old.
It introduced four new allowances: housing allowance, university education allowance, the allowance for unemployed citizens over the age of 45, and the allowance for unemployed job seekers.
The allocations are aimed at enabling low-income Emirati families to obtain adequate housing, encourage outstanding children to enroll in university, and support elderly citizens.
The housing allowance provided is between AED1,500 ($408.3) to AED2,500 ($680.5) per month until the family obtains government housing. Applicants who live with their parents or any other family are entitled to 60% of the sum.
The social welfare program provides a monthly subsidy of 50% for electricity consumption less than 4,000 kilowatts, and monthly subsidy for water at a value of 50% for water consumption less than 26,000 gallons, in addition to a monthly subsidy of 85% of the fuel price increase over AED2.1 per liter.