COVID 19: Pakistanis who lost their jobs in Gulf countries

Coronavirus has been affecting the economy of almost every country in the world, unemployment has also increased. The situation is affecting the poorest sections of every country, but most of the problems are for the Pakistanis who were abroad for employment and have now been fired.

It is estimated that more than 11,000 Pakistanis abroad have been terminated from their jobs. According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, thousands of Pakistanis have been removed from their jobs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, besides several countries in the Middle East, they have sought data from relevant embassies regarding their numbers. Regarding Pakistanis residing in European countries, ministry officials say they did not receive a request from anyone returning to Pakistan from those countries whose job was terminated because of Corona.

What is happening in Saudi Arabia?

According to an official of Pakistan’s Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, most of the unemployed in the Middle East are day laborers who work in the construction sector as well. In addition, many people are from the transport and food delivery sectors.

Residents of Saudi Arabia claim that many Pakistanis working in factories have been terminated.

Ministry officials say 873 people are interested in returning to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia have contacted the Pakistani embassy, ​​but according to them, all their jobs have not been terminated.

Situation in UAE?

The largest number of foreign workers and job-seekers reside in the Middle East.

According to the Ministry officials, the largest number of people whose jobs have been terminated due to the Corona virus are Pakistanis working in the UAE and around 5500 are currently in the United Arab Emirates who have been registered at the Pakistani Embassy.

Authorities say most of them are laborers and belong to the construction sector. It is estimated that more than nine million Pakistanis are based in the United Arab Emirates.

However, according to a post by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources, the ministry is revising foreign recruitment guidelines.

The government will negotiate a workforce agreement with countries that have refused to allow their citizens to return home because of the Corona virus. The Ministry states that the Ministry will impose strict sanctions on countries that are not cooperating in this regard.

The stand of the government of Pakistan

According to Foreign Ministry officials, around 39,000 Pakistanis from around the world are currently awaiting return, most of them living in the United Arab Emirates. Authorities say the process of bringing Pakistanis home to Pakistan will begin on April 14.

According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, thousands of Pakistanis have approached embassies in their countries to return to Pakistan because of Corona, but due to lack of quarantine centers in Pakistan, the risk of repatriation cannot be taken.

An extraordinary increase in the amount of money being sent by immigrants

Pakistanis sent more money back home than usual, the reason for sending extra money is the uncertainty that has been caused by the outbreak of the Corona virus. Banks are currently open and allowed to send money from the UAE, but problems can not be ignored as the situation worsens in the future.

According to experts, more money from Pakistanis abroad has been sent to relatives as well as for charitable purposes. In addition, some people have been given three months’ salaries or arrears on their retirement from the jobs they have sent to Pakistan.

During the current financial year, from July to March, overseas Pakistanis sent $16991.6 million to Pakistan, which is $960.7 million or six percent higher than the amount sent from July to March fiscal year 2018-2019.

However, this increase in exchange for Pakistan is not good news. Lockdowns in the United States, Europe and the Gulf States may increase the unemployment rate, which is affecting Pakistanis abroad as well.