Abu Dhabi: A social support programme was launched as part of the Abu Dhabi’s developmental accelerator initiative ‘Ghadan 21’ and overall social development framework to support Abu Dhabi’s limited income Emirati households and help them achieve financial independence, a senior official said on Thursday.

Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, said the programme provides financial support to limited income Emirati families and aims to activate individuals who can work and enable them to secure jobs more easily, in line with their abilities and skill sets. The activation programme is developed in partnership with several government entities

“The programme reflects President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s vision and comes in line with directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council,” he said.

The Abu Dhabi Social Support Programme complements existing schemes in Abu Dhabi, such housing programs, free health care in the public and private sectors, food subsidies, as well as many other subsidised services.

Al Khaili said: “The UAE’s wise leadership continuously strives to improve and enhance living standards for every Emirati family in Abu Dhabi, and this programme has been specifically designed to improve the overall well-being of limited income families.”

He added that this programme reflects the approach adopted by Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan of ensuring that citizens live happy and fulfilled lives.

The programme will begin accepting applications gradually, with the first phase set to commence in Al Dhafrah (formerly Al Gharbia) on January 6, 2019. The second phase will begin in Al Ain on January 20 followed by Abu Dhabi city on February 24.

Those applicants who meet the programme’s terms and criteria will begin receiving support starting April.

To ensure privacy during the application process, the programme will receive all applications via its website, www.ssa.gov.abudhabi

To assist those who require logistical support, such as people of determination and senior citizens, an agreement has been reached with the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities to also receive applications through a number of Tamm services centres in Al Dhafrah, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi city.

Having assessed similar international programmes, the department designed a support plan that considers the family’s size, structure, and total income. Emirati families will receive social support only if their family’s total income is lower than the threshold calculated based on the family size and structure.

On providing financial support to the programme’s recipients, the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development will partner with the appropriate institutions to establish training programmes that will help family members who are able to work to find a job in-line with their qualifications and abilities. Training programmes will take into account a number of key factors such as age, skills and health condition with the aim of helping recipients to achieve stability and financial independence.