MAY 31, 2018 (BE2C2) — The UAE and Afghanistan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to supply Afghan workers to the emirate.
The labor agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 107th International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the UAE’s state news agency WAM reported.
A joint committee will be formed to monitor the implementation of the MoU.
Youth unemployment stands at more than 40 percent in Afghanistan, and most young people do not have an education. Those that do, find jobs in other countries.
Until now there were roughly 120,000 Afghan workers in the UAE — not a very significant number as compared to other Asians like Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans, and Bangladeshis.
With the agreement, Kabul expects the number will significantly increase thereby adding much needed foreign exchange in form of remittances as well as reduce the “unemployed youth bulge”.
In March, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani launched a strategy to tackle youth unemployment on war-footing as rate of unemployment has increased 10% during the past four years due to population explosion, poor law and order situation, bad economic situation, corruption, terrorism and defective education system.
Based on 2016 figures provided by the ministry of labor and social affairs, over 1.8 million eligible workers are unemployed in Afghanistan, a report by ToloNews said.
This comes as thousands of Afghans are reportedly fleeing the country due to what they believe is lack of jobs and security.
The exodus has caused a huge refugee crisis across Europe as daily thousands of immigrants, most of them from Syria and Afghanistan, are illegally entering European countries in a bid to find jobs and a peaceful life.
In a related note, the Afghanistan diplomatic mission last November started an ambitious project to register 120,000 Afghan expatriates living in the UAE and issue new identity cards to them, Gulf News reported.
60 per cent of the Afghan expatriates in the UAE are from Khost province and majority of them [60 per cent to 70 per cent] are living in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, said Abdul Farid Zikria, Afghanistan Ambassador to the UAE, in an interview.
About 1,500 Afghan businessmen in Dubai constitute the largest Afghan business community anywhere in the world, the ambassador said.
According to the envoy, there are 155,000 Afghans in GCC except in Saudi Arabia; 200,000 Afghans are in the kingdom, he added.