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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 January 2019

Saudi Crown Prince launches social initiative in Kingdom 

Organisation's first project looks to aid newlyweds

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. AP
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. AP

Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday launched a non-governmental, non-profit fund aimed at empowering local citizens and enhancing their quality of life.

“Out of our belief in the role of communities and its importance to build our nation, Mohammed bin Salman Fund starts as a programme that will launch non-profit initiatives to support Saudi society and to touch on its needs,” the fund tweeted.

The organisation aims to assess the needs of different social groups under one platform by providing them with direct aid and awareness courses.

The fund will also support Saudis on a "financial and development level, while it continues to look into the needs of the society to launch other initiatives,” they tweeted.

Their first project will aid low-income newlyweds in a bid to abate their financial woes, while also teaching them about financial management.

To apply for the marriage fund both husband and wife must be Saudi nationals, it must be the first marriage for the husband, and the couple must have been married for less than a year when applying. Additional criteria includes that the dowry given to the wife be no more than 50,000 Saudi Riyal (Dh49,000) and the family income no more than Dh3,900 per month.

The fund also aims to prioritise the children of orphans and those killed in battle and people with special needs.

The initiative comes as part of Prince Mohammed’s effort to empower the population of Saudi Arabia, 40 per cent of which is under the age of 24.

As part of Vision 2030, Prince Mohammed’s brainchild, he plans on creating more jobs for youth by investing in the entertainment sector – an exciting prospect for Saudi youth who have just recently gotten the opportunity to watch movies in cinemas.

The newly launched initiative will be welcomed by Saudi Arabia’s lower income families, many of whom struggle to get married – a costly prospect in Gulf societies – and maintain households.

To alleviate some of the housing concerns, Saudi Arabia's minister of housing in 2018 announced plans to build 1 million houses in the next five years through an investment of $100 billion dollars.

The ministry wants 60 per cent of Saudis to own homes by 2020 and its worked with local banks to facilitate financing.

Updated: December 31, 2018 07:05 PM

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