JEDDAH – A new initiative to combat poverty is set to be launched at the end of the month. The “National Intellectual Initiative against Poverty” is the brainchild of Trad Al-Asmari, noted figure in the Saudi media, a poet and member of the Jeddah Council for Development Work who started an online campaign in this regard.
“The anti-poverty initiative will play a crucial role in minimizing the percentage of poor people in the Kingdom,” said Al-Asmari.
Poverty, he said, has assumed dangerous proportions threatening Saudis and non-Saudis alike. “This initiative uses several methods to directly attack poverty and the reasons behind it. We have already started the first phase by creating a “knowledge bank” through which we are collecting ideas and suggestions from people,” added Al-Asmari.
“We have received thousands of ideas; all of them are interesting and they can help in decreasing the percentage of poverty in the Kingdom. These ideas are of two types: Suggestions to facilitate rules and procedures in the government sector, and implementation of projects in different fields, such as, health, education, unemployment, social awareness, and housing,” added Al-Asmari.
The project is to be launched on the Fkrah.net website in a few days, he said.
Several segments of society, Al-Asmari said, have responded to the initiative by providing different ideas and solutions. “It is very interesting to have such enthusiastic participation from young Saudis in support of this idea. It proves that Saudi society is aware of the issue and ready to work to combat it,” said Al-Asmari.
Statistics show that three million Saudi citizens are living in poverty with an income of less than SR1,200 per month, he added. “Poverty occurs for many reasons, and there are social, cultural, religious, economic, and financial aspects involved in understanding it. Solving such a problem requires us to study society and investigate its problems on different levels rather than concentrating only on the financial aspect,” said Al-Asmari. – SG