Kathmandu, December 28
Though Qatar is facing an economic blockade from a few neighbouring countries that have also cut diplomatic ties with the natural gas-rich nation, Nepali migrant workers have chosen Qatar as the top destination after seven months.
A total of 8,595 Nepali migrant workers reached Qatar in the month between mid-November and mid-December. Similarly, 27,965 people went out of the country during the review period.
After the diplomatic rift between Qatar and the Saudi Arabia-led alliance began in April this year, more number of Nepali migrant workers started opting for Malaysia as their chief destination. The last time Qatar was the prime destination for Nepali migrant workers was in the month between mid-April and mid-May, when Qatar topped the list of Nepali migrants, receiving 9,535 Nepalis while Malaysia received 9,073 migrant workers.
From mid-May to mid-November, Malaysia remained at the top of the list, while Qatar stood in the second position. But in the last month, Qatar received 8,309 men and 286 women from Nepal.
Rohan Gurung, chairman of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, said Qatari companies have increased the demand of foreign labour in the construction sector, which has helped increase the total demand from Nepal too.
“Despite the embargo by some neighbouring nations, Qatar has still been focusing on constructing big infrastructure projects for the FIFA World Cup that it will be hosting in 2022, so they are increasing the demand of migrant workers,” he said.
Gurung also stated that only after analysing the data of the next two to three months will the real picture of demand of Nepali migrant workers come out. “The labour demand from Qatar in the last few months has been fluctuating, so it is too early to talk about the real situation,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the number of total migrant workers decreased from mid-November to mid-December in comparison to mid-October to mid-November.
According to data maintained by the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), 28,522 Nepali migrant workers left the country for foreign employment in between mid-October and mid-November, which is 557 more than the figure for mid-November to mid-December.
As per DoFE, UAE received a total of 4,498 Nepali migrant workers, while Saudi Arabia received 3,390 Nepalis in the review period. Similarly, 1,616 Nepali migrants went to Kuwait during the period.
Similarly, 46 cases related to various grievances have been registered at DoFE by migrant workers and their relatives. Out of them, DoFE has filed 24 cases in the court against the concerned manpower agencies.
A version of this article appears in print on December 29, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.