(MENAFN - Arab News) Unemployed youths in the Kingdom have been paid SR1.1 billion for the Hijri month of Safar (Dec. 26, 2011 to Jan. 23, 2012) as part of the government's Hafiz unemployment assistance program.
"The sum for each person has been deposited in the bank accounts of more than 563,000 Saudi youths for the second month in a row," Director General of the program Khaled Al-Ajami said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.
Al-Ajami said more than 41,000 names were added to the list of Hafiz beneficiaries since Dec. 31. The processing of more than 100,000 applications for Hafiz assistance could not be completed because the applicants did not supply their income declarations and IBANs (international bank account numbers).
Al-Ajami added text messages were sent to applicants who did not provide the necessary details in their applications.
More than 32,000 names were removed from the register of Hafiz beneficiaries after it was found they were not eligible for the government's aid. Anyone who is disqualified to receive assistance will be removed from the list of beneficiaries.
"However, a disqualified person can appeal by calling telephone number 920011559. A committee will issue a ruling on the matter within three months," he said.
He also urged disqualified applicants to contact the Hafiz office as early as possible.
"Hafiz (Incentive) is not a mere payment system, but its aim is to provide unemployed youths an opportunity to become qualified for the job market with better training. Hafiz will also pay the expenses of their training programs," he said.
Basically, the Hafiz program aims to convert unemployed Saudi youths into a source of strength for the fast development of the Kingdom, he added.
Hafiz (incentive), Taqat (power) and Liqaat (interviews) are the names given to the three programs that support and speed up the Nitaqat Saudization program, which was launched by the Labor Ministry a few months ago.
The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) launched the Taqat program by opening 10 centers in different regions in the Kingdom. These centers will help Saudi youths to develop their skills and find jobs. HRDF and the Ministry of Labor have jointly organized the Liqaat program, where job interviews are arranged between employers and jobseekers under one roof.
The first series of mass interviews under Liqaat are being organized currently in Riyadh. Jeddah's turn will come on Feb. 29, followed by Dammam on April 11.