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Saudi to distribute $493m to social security beneficiaries

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud speaks during the 14th Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on June 1, 2019 [BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI KINGDOM COUNCIL / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]
Saudi Arabia's King Salmanin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in Saudi Arabia on 1 June 2019 [Bandar Algaloud/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia's King Salman today ordered the distribution of "Ramadan Aid" worth 1.85 billion riyal ($492.6 million) for social security beneficiaries, the state news agency reported.

Providers of families will get 1,000 riyals ($267) each while family members will get 500 riyals ($133) each.

With curfews in place, oil prices at new lows and pilgrimage cancelled, the Saudi economy is suffering its worst slump in decades.

The combined impact of low oil prices and the absence of cash brought in by pilgrims means Riyadh has no choice but to tighten its purse strings.

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan told state media outlets that the crisis facing Saudi finances was the worst the country had experienced in decades, adding "all options" were open to deal with the situation.

The government frequently distributes aid to families in need, often in times of crisis, including when the Middle East was witnessing a wave of protests known as the "Arab Spring".

READ: Over $2.7bn food waste per year in UAE 

Middle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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