Kuwait is a small country in Asia that has an undeniable amount of wealth. Many of the citizens of Kuwait still live in extreme poverty, however. Kuwait’s wealth through natural oil reserves often masks the country’s poverty issues. Oil is the most important industry within the country and Kuwait’s top percentage of citizens possess most of the wealth. The nation only employs about 70 percent of its citizens leaving one in four people without incomes to support their families, a half a million people living in rental houses and over 100,000 people looking for a home. While conditions are difficult for citizens that do not profit from natural oil, Kuwait also has a negative reputation for being a challenging country to live in for expats. These top 9 facts about living conditions in Kuwait acknowledge both internal and external issues facing the country.
Top 9 Facts About Living Conditions in Kuwait
- Kuwait’s public transportation primarily includes buses and taxis. Kuwait has a very poor safety record on the roads with one of the highest accident rates in the Middle East. A government solution has proposed a plan to install GCC-railway terminals so that citizens and tourists can get around safely.
- Kuwaitis receive high medical care and are entitled to free medical treatment at government facilities. Kuwaitis always get priority over expats, which can make the cost and wait time for tourists a nightmare. A governmental implementation that segregates local and expat patients and foreign medical staff ensures that Kuwait’s citizens receive the highest and fastest level of care first.
- The overall environment of Kuwait is extremely unclean. The country has a significant litter problem as citizens tend to throw garbage in the streets. It is common for citizens and expats to drive around with piles of trash on the side of the road. The government is working with nonprofit organizations such as Operation HOPE in forming groups to clean litter on the roads weekly.
- The cost of living poses a challenge for the Kuwait people. Housing, education and clothing are too expensive for citizens not working in the natural oil industry. With only 70 percent of the country employed, half a million can only afford rental homes while 100,000 people are homeless.
- Women in Kuwait are making progress but there is still a long way to go. Women have been trailblazers in turning the country around following the Kuwait Parliament Act signed in 2005, granting women full suffrage. Kuwait still lacks laws against domestic abuse and husbands can prohibit their wives from working, though.
- Kuwait has an issue with extremely high temperatures, especially during the summer season. The average temperature from June through August is 101 degrees. The country has many months’ worth of dry periods making agriculture extremely difficult in producing a profit. The winter months are cooler but still face an average of 70 degrees.
- Operation HOPE in Kuwait is one of many nonprofit organizations working toward bettering the country. HOPE stands for Helping Others Practically and Everyday without discrimination or disrespect to anyone. Members of the organization do many things from cleaning the streets to making blankets for prisoners. The organization also provides food, toiletries and bedrolls to those in need.
- Non-citizens that came from tribal families and settled in the community over 50 years ago face the most serious economic problems. No citizenship means segregation by the government which makes earning a living extremely challenging. People can apply for citizenship, yet the process is long and challenging.
- Although the natural oil industry is the backbone for wealth in Kuwait, oil prices worldwide have dipped 60 percent since 2014 challenging the country to buckle down on spending and begin finding alternative ways to make revenue. This solution can lead to unemployed citizens finding work in whatever the government is going to deem profitable.
These top 9 facts about the living conditions in Kuwait expose some issues that the country faces for citizens, non-citizens and expats settling into the country. The top 9 facts about the living conditions in Kuwait also acknowledges that the Middle Eastern nation has promise and viable solutions to issues facing the country. If the government can continue to implement and think of new and effective measures, Kuwait should continue to prosper into a successful nation.
– Aaron Templin