UAE Cabinet approves AED11 billion for social assistance over next three years
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, affirmed that meeting the needs of the society, particularly social welfare and social services, is essential for the stability of societies and peoples.
His Highness also emphasised that paying attention to citizens’ demands is one of the basic principles of all government strategies and programs, adding that the coming periods will witness a broad government focus on low-income groups.
"The priorities of the government were and will always remain our citizens, we reviewed the report of the Ministry of Community Development today and asked to conduct field surveys and develop long-term plans and propose urgent solutions for a range of topics," His Highness added.
This came during a Cabinet meeting attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi.
Ali Al Mazrouei, the Emirati man who raised the issue of low-income families on the radio, was also invited to attend the Cabinet meeting and was appointed as a Social Researcher at the Ministry of Community Development.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has made a number of decisions aimed at achieving the well-being and happiness of the society, especially the low-income groups. In total, the Cabinet approved AED11 billion of social assistance for all low-income groups over the next three years as follows: AED3.88 billion in social assistance for the elderly, AED1.55 billion for those with a financial and health deficit, AED1.7 billion for "people of determination", and AED183.9 million for families of prisoners, among other categories, as part of the federal government's social assistance plan.
The Cabinet reviewed the report of the Ministry of Community Development, which included the needs of citizens with low incomes and identified six main requirements: housing, basic needs, transportation, financial support, healthcare, education and work.
The Cabinet also discussed ways of monitoring and addressing the social security requirements to cover all segments of low-income groups and directed the relevant ministry to conduct field surveys, to develop long-term plans, and to propose urgent solutions to a range of topics.
In the legislative affairs, the Cabinet approved the issuance of a federal law to regulate the practice of medicine in order to develop health services in the UAE. The new law defines and regulates three medical professions including the visiting doctor, resident doctor, and intern doctor. The law takes into account recent changes in the medical profession and will contribute to improving the quality of medical service and promote the UAE as health-tourism destination.
The Cabinet has also given special attention to the health of infants and children through the adoption of a resolution to regulate the marketing of infant and young child formulas and milk alternatives. The law aims to ensure healthy growth while promoting breastfeeding during the first six months of the infants’ life. The new decision will ensure the safe use of natural milk substitutes and food products for children and impose the provision of an identification card with all information on proper use.
In international cooperation, the Cabinet approved an agreement between the UAE and the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka on mutual administrative cooperation and assistance in customs affairs, and the establishment of a UAE Embassy in the Republic of Maldives in the capital Male.
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