Kuwait approves allocation of $2 billion to reward frontline workers

Kuwait:  The Kuwaiti national assembly on Thursday approved a bill to open additional funding of 600 million Kuwaiti dinars, or about two billion US dollars, to grant bonuses for over 200,000 frontline workers who worked in the campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic, local media reported.

The Kuwaiti news agency quoted minister of finance and minister of state for economic affairs and investment Khalifa Hamadeh as saying during the Kuwaiti national assembly session that the front-row rewards are an embodiment of the lofty desire to honor the efforts and sacrifices made by the front-row workers at the beginning of the health crisis.

Hamadeh explained that the government began preparing these rewards by coordinating with all government agencies to determine the category that worked during that period, according to the controls that were set. 

He indicated that the main beneficiaries of the bonuses are the ministries of health, interior, defense and the National Guard, which represent 95.7 percent of the cost, pointing to the preparation of estimates and not final statements for government agencies, and accordingly, additional accreditation was requested so that the amount is reserved in preparation for disbursements.

The minister of finance said that 16 government agencies whose statements have been approved and 46 government agencies whose statements are still under review and scrutiny.

He added: “The workers entitled to front-row bonuses were divided into 3 main categories, the first for the Ministries of Health and Interior, the second category determined by the Service Bureau, and the third for workers in the support ranks.”

He added: “Kuwaitis who died as a result of COVID-19 were considered martyrs,” stressing that the ministry will stand on the mechanism of disbursement, and the speed of its completion.

According to government estimates, the number of employees entitled to these bonuses reaches 198,64 employees.

The number of people infected with COVID-19 in Kuwait has so far risen to 303039 cases, while the total deaths have risen to 1,751 deaths, and the total number of people recovering has risen to 288,289 cases.