Saudi Arabia makes 2 billion riyal payment in citizens account program

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has made its first installment of 2 billion riyals ($533.33 million) into the kingdom’s household allowance program, with 10.6 million beneficiaries, Saudi state news agency SPA reported on Thursday.

Known as the Citizens Account, the scheme is a cash handout for low- and middle-income citizens to offset the impact of energy price increases.

In a presentation of the program last week, labor ministry officials said about 3.7 million households signed up, representing some 13 million total beneficiaries, but that not all would be approved for eligibility.

The next monthly installment will be transferred on Jan 10, SPA said.

Reporting by Katie Paul, writing by Sylvia Westall