RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

King urges joint projects for reintegration of society

By M. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Arab News

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has called for launching collaborative social projects with a focus on the reintegration of the underprivileged section of society, which has been lagging behind in terms of health, education and income generation.

“A real public-private partnership is an essential component of sustainable social development of the Kingdom,” said King Abdullah, in a speech read out by Minister of Social Affairs Yusuf Al-Othaimeen, here Sunday night.

King Abdullah said that the three-day conference organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs would be a platform for studying diverse issues confronting Saudi society today.

The king said that there was a growing evidence to believe that public and private sectors have accepted reasons for “working together as partners,” but there is still a need to ensure that both parties with stakes in social development complement each other’s efforts.

He expressed hope that “the participants at the conference will explore all possible ways and real mechanisms for social development.”

More than 400 local and international speakers, Saudi officials, diplomats and guests, including Awad Al-Raddadi, deputy minister for social affairs, are participating in the event.

An exhibition, organized on the sidelines of the conference, is featuring social projects promoted by private companies and public entities of the Kingdom.

Last year alone, the Ministry of Social Affairs reported that 35,160 beggars were detained in 2008 by the 12 anti-begging offices all over the Kingdom compared to 29,988 in 2007. According to a report, the number of Saudis accounted for 4,952 beggars while the number of non-Saudis reached 30,008 in 2008.

Also on beggary front, the Public Administration for Social Protection in Saudi Arabia, affiliated to the Ministry of Social Affairs, has established 13 committees across the Kingdom to follow up cases of domestic abuse, especially those involving women and children. Al-Othaimeen said that a number of social projects with government, nongovernment and business organizations are functioning, but the relationships among the three sectors have yet to mature.

Ideally, social development is a prime duty of the state. “However, in developing countries, the importance of business and NGO sectors, and limitations of the state in realizing the social ideals cannot be ignored,” noted the minister.

No comments: