x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

FNC bid to expand welfare

n January of last year, unemployment among nationals aged 15 and older was 12.9 per cent, government figures show.

SHARJAH // Financial support for unemployed Emirati graduates and families involved in court cases are at the top of an FNC committee's wish list for this year.

The health, labour and social affairs panel is working with the Ministry of Social Affairs to recommend updates to the country's support system.

Members said yesterday that recent graduates, particularly those from low-income families, were among those in need but were not covered by existing legislation.

"As the number of unemployed is increasing, we found that this segment also needed support," said Sultan Al Sammahi (Fujairah), the committee's secretary. "After graduation, if they are still looking for work after six months, they should receive support from the ministry, while the ministry also helps to find them work."

In January of last year, unemployment among nationals aged 15 and older was 12.9 per cent, government figures show.

Mr Al Sammahi said it was important to help Emiratis at the beginning of their careers, to prevent them from falling into "bad company" and being tempted to steal.

Twelve groups are currently eligible to receive social support, including orphans and the elderly.

The committee has been working with officials in the Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah social affairs offices to identify more such groups.

More than 3,500 Emiratis are receiving social support from the RAK office.

The committee has also found a need to support families facing court cases and those who have members already in prison.

"Particularly if the one in prison used to bring in the main source of income to the family," said Mr Al Sammahi. "We also looked at how money was being distributed in the offices to deliver these services."

Any findings of the committee must be raised in a public FNC session. Recommendations would then be passed to the ministry.

The head of the committee, Salim Bin Rikad Al Ameri (Abu Dhabi), noted that the review was still in an early phase.

"In this stage, we are only gathering information," he said. "We have only reached half way in gathering enough information to pass recommendations."

osalem@thenational.ae