Bahrain launches key benefits drive
Manama, August 18, 2011
Bahrain has launched a number of new projects designed to benefit women, children and the disadvantaged based on recommendations following last month's National Dialogue.
The 79 initiatives include increases in allowances for those eligible for social security payments, while new categories of applicants will also be accepted - including the sick and families of Bahraini women married to non-Bahrainis.
They also include banning the misuse of children in demonstrations, providing free premises to youth societies, tackling sectarian manifestos of civil society organisations, increasing financial support for the disabled, the setting up of a specialised centre to diagnose disabilities and speeding up the introduction of compulsory health insurance for foreign workers.
There are also plans for Bahrain's first facility specialised in artificial limbs, costing an initial BD850,000 ($2.25 million) to build and equip.
It is the biggest indication yet that agreements reached during the landmark talks are being implemented.
The initiatives, announced by Human Rights and Social Development Minister and acting Health Minister Dr Fatima Al Balooshi yesterday (August 17), are intended to boost the country's healthcare system and improve social services.
The government is also increasing financial support for the care and rehabilitation of the disabled, from BD500,000 over two years to BD1.2 million.
"We have 72 orders (agreed in the Dialogue) we have to achieve in the Human Rights and Social Development Ministry, while there are seven the Health Ministry is required to achieve," Dr Al Balooshi told a Press conference at Bahrain Financial Harbour.
"They include accelerating the implementation of recommendations related to service needs of citizens and joining and ratifying international conventions." – TradeArabia News Service