Saudi king boosts economic benefits to citizens


Saudi Arabia’s king today ordered billions poured into a development fund that helps Saudis buy homes, get married and start businesses, state TV reported, as the oil-rich nation warily watches the unrest spreading around the Middle East.

Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia.

The measure was one of several announced by the monarch, who returned home today after a three-month absence during which he underwent medical treatment in the United States.

Abdullah ordered that 40 billion riyals, or about USD 10.7 billion, be injected into the country’s development fund, Saudi television said. That nearly doubles the original budget of 47 billion riyals.

Other new measures include a 15 percent cost of living adjustment for government workers and a year of unemployment assistance for youth.

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