To protect their population from growing living expenses, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are increasing governmental spending on social assistance by billions of dollars.
To help low-income Emirati households cope with the country’s skyrocketing inflation, the UAE is tripling the amount of aid it gives them to 28 billion dirhams ($7.6 billion), while King Salman of Saudi Arabia has approved a 20 billion riyal ($5.33 billion) grant.
The Citizens Account initiative will reopen registration, and the kingdom will provide an additional 8 billion riyals in funding for it through the end of the year.
A further 2 billion riyals will be used to make one-time payments to recipients of social insurance, while 408 million riyals would go toward a programme that aids small livestock breeders.
According to state news agency WAM, the UAE’s increased budget allocation includes raising existing benefits and establishing new ones aimed at reducing the impact of inflation on food prices as well as growing fuel and household energy expenditures.
Financial aid for college students and unemployed people over 45 is one of the new advantages available to Emiratis.
It was not immediately obvious how Saudi Arabia or the UAE, two significant oil producers who have benefited greatly from this year’s high crude prices, would pay for the expansion of financial support.
According to James Swanston of Capital Economics, the increases in spending were equal to 0.6% of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and 1.8% of the UAE’s GDP.