Kuwait Govt.: Welfare

Kuwait Govt.: Welfare Last updated on Wednesday 21st April 2010

Kuwait is a welfare state and heavily subsidizes many social needs. This sector of course was heavily damaged during the Iraqi occupation but strenuous efforts are underway to get the welfare system back to where it was on 1 August 1990.

Following are details showing the state of Kuwait's Welfare Services prior to the invasion. Some of these were continued after the Gulf War but are under examination and re-evaluation by the government.

Electricity costs the consumer 2 fils a unit (1 KD = 1000 fils), although its real price is more than 15 times this amount. This continues to be the case.

Gasoline prices are still 50% below market rates.

Subsidized foods, available to everybody, are being held at 1972 prices. The most heavily subsidized product is rice at 80%.

Government housing is available to all married Kuwaitis who are employed and who do not own property. A nominal monthly rent is paid and until a house becomes available, they receive an income of KD 100 per month. The emphasis has been on providing housing for low-income applicants and bedouins. Prior to the invasion, the Housing Authority had a budget in excess of KD 100m per annum.

Education received about KD 233m per year. There were 79 kindergartens, 178 primary schools, 145 secondary schools and 1 university. Most have reopened.
All schooling is free for Kuwaitis and is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 14. As it is illegal to employ a child under the age of 15, most stay at school until this age. All schools impose segregation of sexes after kindergarten. The government also paid for Kuwaitis to study abroad.
There were also 11 institutes of post-secondary vocational training and a Maintenance Training Centre which ran courses on electronics, machine tools, diesel and petrol engines, air-conditioning etc.
Schools also tackled the problem of illiteracy. There were 140 Adult Literacy Centres run by the government. There were also Institutes of Special Education catering to the needs of the handicapped and educationally sub-normal.

Medical treatment was offered free to all residents of Kuwait. There were, however, some changes after liberation.

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