Impoverished Yemen seeks Gulf jobs


The technical and vocational training ministry made the request to the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council recalling Yemen’s longstanding request for membership, Saba said.

"Yemen currently has surplus workers who could progressively replace the expatriate workforce of the GCC countries, if the political leadership decides to commit itself a little more than now to the path of integration," it said.

Expatriate workers, mainly from the Asian subcontinent, make up some 37 percent of the 35 million strong population of the six GCC states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Yemen with a population of more than 20 million is one of the world’s poorest countries despite its proximity to the oil-rich Gulf.

It was granted membership in December 2001 of four GCC ministerial councils — education, health, social affairs and sport affairs — giving it hope of gradual integration into the wealthy club.

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia expelled hundreds of thousands of Yemeni workers in the aftermath of Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait in retaliation for Sanaa’s perceived support for Saddam Hussein’s regime.


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