Suddenly and catastrophically ... the remittances of migrant workers in the Middle East declined

Suddenly and catastrophically ... the remittances of migrant workers in the Middle East declined
The flow of remittances from migrant workers in Lebanon and the Gulf to their families in Africa and Asia stopped suddenly and catastrophically.
In a report published by the American magazine "Foreign Policy", writer Anchal Vohra said that the Lebanese are accustomed to relying on Ethiopians to do tasks such as taking their dogs for a walk or cleaning their homes. The oil-rich Gulf states used to employ South Asians to drive their cars, build their buildings and explore their natural resources, and this category of immigrants often carries out stressful work for low wages.
The Corona virus pandemic caused this economic model to collapse. Long closings and economic stagnation in host countries left tens of millions of migrants in the Middle East unemployed or on unpaid leave, while forcing many of them to return to their already-suffering countries. From poverty and high unemployment.
Given these facts, experts fear that this reverse migration may have disastrous consequences for workers and their countries of origin, as well as their host countries.
The writer noted that the salaries earned by these Asian and African migrant workers in the Middle East flow into their home countries in the form of loans for their siblings to open small businesses, to build homes for their elderly parents, and to pay school fees for their children.
At present, their unemployment will undoubtedly have a multiplier effect as well, as lower remittances will lead to lower consumption and local enterprises in difficulty.
In a report issued last April, the World Bank estimated that remittances directed towards low- and middle-income countries will decline by 20% this year, a rate sharper than the 5% that the world experienced after the 2009 global recession.

Africans in Lebanon

The situation of African domestic workers in Lebanon is particularly harsh. Last month, Bakalo (who requested anonymity to keep her work), a 25-year-old domestic worker working in Beirut, stated that her employers had left her outside the gates of the Ethiopian embassy without Any interpretation, without paying her her salary or even handing her her passport, and many of her countrymen have received similar treatment during the past few months, and as a result of these circumstances an unknown number of household aids have died by suicide.
Despite what Bakalo went through, she refused to reveal the names of those she works for in the hope that, one day after the crisis, she would regain her job and dues, and stated that her monthly salary of no more than $ 300 represented a large portion of the money her entire family lived in Ethiopia.
The Lebanese economy suffers from chaos even before the Corona virus, which accelerates its collapse, appears, with the value of the Lebanese pound dropping by 80% compared to the US dollar. The Lebanese found it impossible to preserve their lifestyles and began to expel their employees collectively.

Foreign labor in the Gulf

The rapidly changing business landscape due to the restrictions related to the Coronavirus, along with the drop in oil prices, is expected to cause unemployment in the Gulf to rise by 13%, with the potential for a greater burden on foreigners, as Gulf citizens work mainly in the public sector.
Rima Cloche, director of Migrant Rights, quoted this author as saying that this situation does not affect blue-collar workers only, as "migrant workers of all groups were severely affected by the epidemic and largely excluded from government programs."
Emirates Airlines has made the Emirates a global center for air travel, but with flights suspended and limited to basic transportation for the foreseeable future at least, the company decided to lay off thousands of employees to save money.
One of the laid-off employees, an Indian flight attendant in Dubai, has stated that he is struggling to pay his rent while his retired parents and his sick sister in his homeland India are waiting for the monthly salary he sends to them.
On this, he said, "Emirates Airlines is a global company that makes profits, and we were the ones who made it profitable, but they expelled us. It was a cruel matter."

Migrants from India

The author stated that India has deployed national aviation and naval vessels to transport stranded citizens, and among all sources of human capital, India has a particular reason for concern about the return of migrants, with 8.5 million Indians working in the Gulf, and 500,000 Indians are expected to return to one state or province Only, she is Kerala.
Between 2014 and 2018, cash transfers sent by migrants working in the Arab Gulf states accounted for 35% of the state's GDP and 39% of bank deposits.
In many ways, Kerala is a prime example of the benefits countries derive when a large number of their citizens find jobs abroad, on the one hand, and the challenges that the country may face when reverse migration occurs, on the other hand.
"The government is underestimating the number of returning migrants, and I believe that at least 1.5 million Indians will return," said Erudaya Rajan, a professor at the Kerala State Development Studies Center. Seriously.
According to Scott Economics, the chief economist at the Oxford Economics think-tank, Gulf policymakers may have thought that expelling foreign workers would solve the problem of high unemployment rates at the local level, but the emigration of foreign citizens would cause a sharp drop in real estate prices Rents in the Gulf region will reduce demand for the already struggling retail and hospitality sectors.
Meanwhile, the International Labor Organization has advised migrant countries to prepare to take advantage of the skills of returnees to develop national development and growth, and transmission may be more difficult for migrants themselves, and for the millions who have been able to work in the Gulf and improve their social status there, the Corona virus has announced the end of this era for them.

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