(MENAFN - Arab News) The number of saudi beggars has decreased to an all-time low in 13 years said an official at the ministry of social affairs.
in fact statistics show that saudi beggars formed only 8 percent of the total number of beggars in 2013.
the number of expats beggars however increased 14 percent during the same period.
yusuf al-siyali director of the anti-begging unit at the ministry said that the number of non-saudi beggars is on the rise because of the absence of deterrent measures aimed at curbing such a phenomenon.
'the anti-human trafficking system however penalizes individuals who use women children and the handicapped for begging in a bid to evoke peoples' sympathy" he said. 'begging can also be used as a cover-up for promoting drugs or indecent conduct."
he called on preachers to educate the public about the perils of begging whether done individually or collectively and discourage beggars from asking for money at mosques.
'the battle against beggars has not been delegated to the ministry of social affairs" said al-siyali. 'this is the responsibility of more than one sector."
'more than 85 percent of beggars are illegal expats so there is an issue of security at stake" he said. 'such cases are dealt with by the ministry of interior which is tasked with detaining and deporting violators."
'the ministry of social affairs is responsible for fighting the phenomenon as a whole and following up on the progress made at social affairs offices which employ both male and female social researchers" he added.