Afghanistan to Send First Batch of 2,500 Workers to UAE

The first group of workers from Afghanistan will be sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) within the next three months, said the Afghanistan Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) on 11 January 2019. The ministry added that the first group of 2,500 workers will be hired from all provinces based on merit. Skilled and vocational workers will have better chances of being hired.

“We have started the jobs, we are determined to send over 2,500 workers in March, but the process will be a test one initially. Practical measures are underway about the hiring process,” said Abdul Fatah Eshratzai, spokesman for MoLSAMD.

The agreement between Afghanistan and UAE was signed nearly seven months ago. Afghanistan has also sealed similar agreements with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to tackle its issue of unemployment.

“One of the temporary solutions to the issue of unemployment is to send workers to other countries which are committed to us, this is a positive step,” said Mohammad Ali Mashal, an economic analyst.

Extending its the labour market abroad is seen as a measure to help ease unemployment, which continues to rise as tens of thousands of Afghans return from Iran due to a slowing economy. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 20,000 people have returned since 1 January 2019.  

In a telephone interview with The Migrant Project, Baser Yadgari, a freelance economic analyst said: “This is a positive step taken by the National Unity Government, but it is not enough for controlling the current unemployment gap. I hope the government will increase efforts to create such opportunities inside and outside the country by boosting the job market, which will lead Afghanistan towards social and economic stability. When the purchasing power of the people increases, it will also raise Afghanistan’s GDP.”

According to MoLSAMD, approximately 400,000 new job seekers are being added to the workforce each year. At present, about 1.9 million people are unemployed.

TMP – 28/02/2019

Photo credit: Alexander Steam/Shutterstock. Photo caption: Skyscrapers at sunrise in Dubai.