The Killid Group, June 21, 2015
Poverty drives economic migrants
Growing joblessness among the youth is fuelling immigration, and it is often illegal
By Samad Ali Nawazesh
Samiaullah Aminzai, a resident of Nangarhar province, says the worsening violence and economic situation have forced hundreds of families to move to other parts of the country and abroad. He says that his aunt’s son Sulaiman first went to Iran and then to Turkey, and now he is in Greece. He was smuggled into Greece by human traffickers, he confides. His plan is to make his way into mainland Europe, and then send for his family.
The plan is fraught with danger. Hundreds of thousands of African and Asian immigrants try to sneak into Europe and Australia every year. Fatalities are high. According to the International Organisation for Migration, over 100,000 migrants have been rescued at sea since January 2015.
Information provided by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the results of a survey by the Central Statistic Organisation (CSO) reveals a quarter of qualified Afghans are unemployed. Of this 17 percent have little work and the remaining 8 percent have no means of earning money.
Information provided by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the results of a survey by the Central Statistic Organisation (CSO) reveals a quarter of qualified Afghans are unemployed.
According to Minister Mohmand, 9 million Afghans (roughly 36 percent of the estimated population) are living under the poverty line and 6 million Afghans are close to going under, which together account for more than 15 million poor people in the country.
The Killid Group, Jun. 21, 2015
Wasel Noor Mohmand, the deputy minister of labour and social affairs says, “Seventy five percent of jobless people are self-employed; in jobs as shopkeepers or crafts for instance.” It is hard to survive in such occupations, and petty shopkeepers and craftsmen are among those seeking to find a way to leave the country and go abroad in search of work.
Deputy Labour and Social Affairs Minister Mohmand underlines that unemployment is not just an Afghan problem. “Joblessness has increased in the region, even in the world. The ILO (International Labour Organisation) reports that 85 million people in the world are jobless and 200 million people are living below the poverty line,” he says.
According to Minister Mohmand, 9 million Afghans (roughly 36 percent of the estimated population) are living under the poverty line and 6 million Afghans are close to going under, which together account for more than 15 million poor people in the country. The government has to take action to combat poverty, he adds.
In his opinion, development projects like mining, road construction, industry and agriculture would create jobs in tens of thousands. It would provide a hopeful future for youth.
Ozra Shamal, a Kabul-based civil society activist, says she has seen many families leave the country because of lack of job prospects and worsening poverty. “I have seen that many people do not have hope of finding regular work and fear for their safety because of the violence caused by continuing war in the country,” she says.
Ozra cites the example of her relative called Mahmood Jan who lived in Kabul in a rented house. His two sons went to work in Iran and to the Gulf. Unable to continue to pay the rent on his meager income, Ozra’s relative sold all he owned, and left for Iran.
Killid interviewed Reza who said he returned from Iran with his family some years ago hoping to make a good life for himself in his own country. But the violence and dismal economic situation have forced him to take a decision to leave, he says. “There is no work; the situation is not good, neither is the security situation improving. There is no hope of living well here,” he says. “I want to be in a place where I can have hope of making a good life. I have decided to leave my country.” He said he intends to go alone at first, and later take his family.
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