(MENAFN - Arab News) The Ministry of the Social Affairs has spent SR 3.3 billion to support the disabled people across the Kingdom from Nov. 26, 2011 to Nov. 14, according to a ministry statement.
"The Department of Social Care provided SR 3.3 billion in cash to assist 328,817 disabled persons last year," the statement said. "This is apart from the assistance in kind such as special chairs and equipment supplied to them at the cost of SR 37 million and subsidies for individual projects worth SR 1 million."
The ministry plans to launch a SR 50 million home care service for the disabled shortly in addition to offering training, guidance and rehabilitation programs at the cost of SR 68 million. The care homes under the ministry in different parts of the Kingdom accommodate 8,961 people.
The general services offered to the disabled include exemption of visa fees to recruit nurses and workers to assist them.
The Social Development Department of the ministry offers assistance with particular stress on cultural, health, social and economic uplift of the people through its 34 centers and 380 committees.
The ministry plans to open four new social development centers in Jeddah, Dammam, Wadi Al-Dawasser and Afif besides constructing four new buildings for the social development centers in Sharoura, Hafr Al-Batin, Beesh and Arar at the cost of SR 140 million with each building covering a 15,000 sq. meter area.
The department also provided grants worth SR 482 million to 1,247 private charity agencies and supervised their activities financially, administratively and technically last year. They include 710 charity societies of which 38 are women's societies, 89 charity foundations and 14 multipurpose charities. The department also extended SR 522 million to them for their charity programs, services and other activities last year.
The ministry set up 34 centers in the government sector to undertake social development activities and supervise private charity organizations.
The statement also said that the welfare activities undertaken by 34 government centers contributed largely to fight issues such as poverty and unemployment, housing and falling wages in all regions in the Kingdom.
The ministry's achievements last year included helping 7,583 orphans to be adopted by families. The ministry spent SR 360 million for this project. It also paid SR 15 million for arranging marriages of orphans
. The ministry is running 24 homes for 1,171 orphans and 12 homes for the old, in which 716 inmates are living and all their needs are met by the ministry, the statement added.
It noted that 1,439 beneficiaries of social insurance are running successful business enterprises.