Egyptian Minister of Manpower Mohammed Saafan - File photo
CAIRO – 7 June 2014: The Egyptian government has formed an emergency committee comprising five government Ministries to discuss the affairs of Egyptians citizens currently working in Qatar. Thus far, Doha has not taken any steps regarding the thousands of Egyptian laborers currently present in the small Gulf state following the recent diplomatic crisis between Qatar and several Arab nations.
Q: What is the emergency committee formed for Egyptians laborers in Qatar?
A: It is a committee formed by five Egyptian government Ministries to monitor any developments concerning the status of Egyptian laborers in Qatar following Egypt's recent severing of diplomatic relations with Doha.
Q: What is the role of the committee?
A: The committee will provide around-the-clock monitoring of any measures that might be taken regarding Egyptian laborers working for Qatari governmental institutions or private sector organizations in the Gulf nation. This will enable the Egyptian authorities to take any necessary measures to aid the return of laborers to the country.
Q: Which ministries are participating in this committee?
A: The committee is comprised of five Ministries: Defense, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Manpower, and Immigration and Expatriate Affairs.
Q: How many Egyptian laborers are working in Qatar?
A: They are nearly 250,000 laborers there at this moment.
Q: What about developments regarding the employment status of Egyptian laborers after Egypt has severed ties with Qatar?
A: As of yet, the Qatari authorities have not taken any measures regarding Egyptian workers in Qatar following the decision to cut diplomatic relations.
Q: What kind of joint agreements have been signed between the Egyptian and Qatari Ministries of Manpower?
A: An agreement was signed between the two Ministries in 1974, an understanding memorandum in 2007 and another between the Qatari Labor and Social Affairs Ministry and Egyptian Manpower Ministry in 2004. All of these agreements are still valid so far and have previously facilitated the presence of Egyptian workers in Qatar.
Q: What was the first decision that the committee took after its formation?
A: The committee is currently considering the ramifications of the possibility of a large number of Egyptian labors returning home. It will also intensify efforts to collect data on job opportunities across Egypt in all different professions and specializations to be ready for the possibility receiving Egyptian laborers from Qatar.
Q: What exact measures have been taken by the committee so far?
A: The committee has set up a working group located at Cairo International Airport tasked with monitoring emigration and gathering information from any returning Egyptian laborers to the airport. Additionally, representatives from the Ministry of Immigration and Expatriates will provide reports on complaints made by the Egyptian community in Qatar via the hotline set up by the Ministry at 19887.