News from the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
RAWA News


 

 

 

Add RAWA RSS Feed to Feedreaders



 




 


RAWA Photo Gallery
From RAWA Photo Gallery
 


Help RAWA: Order from our wish list on Amazon.com

RAWA Channel on Youtube

Follow RAWA on Twitter

Join RAWA on Facebook


The Killid Group, December 15, 2014

12 million unemployed in Afghanistan

The National Labour Union (NLU) estimates there are 12 million unemployed

By Noor Wali Sayeed Shinwarai & Ali Arash

The Ashraf Ghani government’s failure to restore investor confidence by announcing a cabinet and ending political uncertainty has worsened fears of insecurity. With no clear end to the grave economic crisis in the country, millions of jobless Afghans face a bleak future.

The National Labour Union (NLU) estimates there are 12 million unemployed. Maroof Qaderi, the chairman, accuses the government of failing people. “Millions of workers participated in the elections hoping promises would be kept. But (continuing) insecurity has robbed (people of) earnings,” he told a press conference recently about the plight of the unemployed.

People need to “see signs of life” he told a press conference while urging the government to unveil a cabinet before the end of the year.

Vendors sit under an advertising billboard in Kabul
Vendors sit under an advertising billboard in Kabul. (Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters)

Daily wager Ahmad Zia has come from Maidan Wardak province to find work in Kabul. He says for the past two weeks he has earned no money. “We cannot even find 100 Afs (1.5 USD) of work in a week. There may be one day of work, and then days of unemployment,” he adds.

Shukrullah, another daily wageworker, says earlier he would earn 1,000 Afs (17 USD) a week. Now he rarely earns even 200 Afs (3 USD). “Since there is greater insecurity no one wants to invest in business. Employers fear a further deterioration of security and do not want to risk their money,” he says.

Ahmad Bakhtyar Sahel in Nangarhar had worked for 10 years in a government office when his services were suddenly terminated. “I have friends who earned good salaries but their offices closed because of either insecurity or lack of budget,” he adds.

The ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled (MoLSAND) agrees insecurity has damaged business, but insists the government will find a solution in a short time.

Government efforts

A spokesperson for the ministry Ali Eftekhari says the government is trying to find jobs for workers outside the country. “Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia will soon sign an agreement based under which Afghan labour would get work permits and visas for Saudi Arabia,” he says, adding that similar agreements were being worked out with other countries facing labour shortages.

He claims the government has reduced the number of jobless from six million to four million but did not give any details. He says the government is working on a national policy for raising employment in agriculture and other sectors like mining. “These efforts would decrease the problem of unemployment,” he says.

According to MoLSAMD, Afghanistan has a working population of 10 million. Less than one million have the ability to find 40 hours of work a week. An estimated 382,000 are working in government offices – 81,000 of them are women.

Illegal migration

Driven by lack of opportunities here thousands of Afghan youth are paying human smugglers thousands of dollars to take them to the West and other industrialised countries. The illegal migration is both risky and heartbreaking.

The National Labour Union (NLU) estimates there are 12 million unemployed. Maroof Qaderi, the chairman, accuses the government of failing people. “Millions of workers participated in the elections hoping promises would be kept. But (continuing) insecurity has robbed (people of) earnings,” he told a press conference recently about the plight of the unemployed.
The Killid Group, Dec. 14, 2014

Only six of some 40 illegal migrants, many of them Afghan youth and children, were rescued when their boat sank off the north coast of Turkey in early November. They were probably trying to get to Romania or Bulgaria – both member states of the European Union. In September, Turkish coastguard rescued another group of migrants – mostly Syrians and Afghans –from the same area.

The Afghan government repatriated the bodies of dead Afghans. Haji Zulmai, the uncle of one of the deceased youth, says his nephew was desperate to find work to provide for his family, and hence took the gamble of trying to slip clandestinely into Europe. “Insecurity has destroyed everything here,” he says. “Nobody's son can find work. Most of them are being persuaded by Taleban to join them. My nephew had passed many exams in IDLG but it was no use.” (Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG)) According to Zulmai, his nephew first went to Iran, and then to Turkey. “Now the government has put his body in front of me. We are very disappointed with the government,” he adds.

Stumbling block

In Afghanistan, jobs have not been able to keep pace with the number of people, particularly youth, seeking work every year. Hamdullah Ershad graduated two years ago from a university. He says every office he applies for jobs asks for experience. “The whole system is bad,” he says. “If I had found work I would by now have had two years experience. There was no internship for courses like mine at university. As a result I am sitting jobless at home. There is no chance of finding work,” he says despondently.

Qasem who graduated from the computer science faculty says offices have turned down his job applications. “When I graduated from high school they said I was a licentiate and I could get a loan to open a shop. But now I am being told I have no work experience,” he says.

He rages against a system that expects a student to both study and work. He wonders what happened to the promises made by both President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to find jobs for the unemployed.

Category: Poverty - Views: 3986