WHERE GOES EGYPTIAN MIGRANTS RETURNING FROM LIBYA?
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
It seems that Egypt has become a catch basin for expatriates who were chased by the ghosts of the conflicts in Tunisia and Libya. The latter conflict has been particularly traumatizing, so a little empathy from any observer will lead to the conclusion that any migrant that sought shelter in neighboring countries wouldn’t eye going back to the source of that trauma.
Many migrants who escaped from the Libya crisis were actually Eqyptians, and so it pays to know the consequences of the conflict on them. They left Egypt for greener pastures, and were then unexpectedly yanked out of their productive pursuits in their host country to return empty-handed aside from tagging along the spectre of traumas that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Below is a briefer on the subject from the IOM.
[Philippines, 29 November 2011]
IOM Survey Finds Egyptian Migrants Returning from Libya in Need of Assistance to Start New Life
Posted on Tuesday, 01-11-2011
Egypt - An IOM survey on the socio-economic profile and needs of Egyptian migrants who have returned home because of the crisis in Libya reveals that most of them require support to restart their lives in Egypt.
The survey is based on a questionnaire distributed randomly to 1,283 Egyptian migrant workers during their evacuation from Tunisia and Misurata to Egypt and on focus group discussions organized by IOM in the Upper Egypt Governorate of Fayoum from where many of the migrants came and have returned to. Additional data from this survey was also obtained from the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower and Emigration.
The study confirms that the crisis in Libya, which triggered the return of an estimated 200,000 Egyptian migrant workers, continues to have a negative impact on poor and vulnerable families and communities, especially in chronically food insecure areas such as the Fayoum Governorate. Most respondents were semi-skilled adult males who said they had been supporting dependants through remittances, which have now dried up.
When asked about the future, 75% of respondents said they intended to remain in Egypt and seek work or start-up businesses. In some cases, the decision to remain in Egypt was linked to hopes that socio-economic development will take place alongside Egypt's political transition. In other cases, returnees said that the trauma and suffering they had experienced or witnessed as they fled Libya influenced their decisions to remain in Egypt.
Despite different motivations, the majority of those who preferred to remain in Egypt said they needed assistance to access financial services and assistance to start-up or reactivate their businesses. The survey found that financial assistance to start private enterprises was largely preferred over additional education and training because of the need for immediate access to income.
Prior to the crisis, Libya was an important source of employment for between 1 and 1.5 million Egyptians who remitted an estimated 33 million USD every year.
The survey is available online at: http://www.egypt.iom.int/publications.htm
For further information please contact:
Tel: +202 273 651 40/1 Ext. 391
+20 101 62 555 00
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