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Registration for unemployment benefits begins


Published: Mar 15, 2011 23:14 Updated: Mar 15, 2011 23:14

JEDDAH: Labor Minister Adel Fakieh has announced that Saudis seeking 12 months of unemployment payments under the Hafiz (Incentive) program can begin registering for the program on Wednesday.

The program is part of a $36 billion package announced on the return of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah after medical treatment abroad. The aid package includes a two-year moratorium on payments by employers who have borrowed money from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund.

Fakieh said Saudis may register through SMS texts to 500200 or via the Internet at http://hafiz.gov.sa. Unemployed Saudis seeking the assistance should provide their civil status ID number.

Fakieh said the ministry will announce procedures of the Hafiz program after the Supreme Economic Council has reviewed the recommendations of the ministry. Later the king will sign off on the recommendations.

Fakieh also said the program will provide the government with valuable data on the state of unemployment in the country.

Fakieh said the cash payments are only a temporary solution which will help the unemployed until they find work. “The employment, training and rehabilitation are the strategic priority of the ministry,” he added.




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