Saudi Arabia deports Yemeni migrant workers

Published April 2nd, 2013 - 10:14 GMT
Saudi Arabia  begun deporting thousands of Yemeni migrant workers following a change in the law
Saudi Arabia begun deporting thousands of Yemeni migrant workers following a change in the law

Saudi Arabia began deporting thousands of Yemeni workers from the Kingdom on Monday, Reteurs reported.

The deportations came after a change in the law which only allows migrant workers to work for their sponsors. 

The Kingdom has strict visa and sponsorship rules regulating migrant workers.

Yemeni government officials in the capital Sana'a are concerned of the effect it will have on their country's fragile economy. It is thought that migrant workers send around $2 billion back to Yemen annually in the form of remittances, providing a vital lifeline to families back home.

"If the decision is implemented, it will cause significant damage to the ... Yemeni economy, of which expatriates are a backbone since their remittances reach about $2 billion a year,” Rajeh Badi, adviser to Yemen’s prime minister, said, according to Reuters.

Yemen's economy has struggled since the revolution that removed former President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power. Unemployment is high and the country remains one of the region's poorest. It's underdeveloped oil industry is subject to repeated attacks on pipelines, slowing output.

The news comes as the IMF debates the prospect of fresh financial aid for Yemen.


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