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Thousands of Egyptians lost their jobs after Kuwait suspended flights

Egyptian citizens queue at Kuwait International Airport before boarding a repatriation flight to Cairo, in Kuwait City on 5 May 2020. [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]
Passengers queue at Kuwait International Airport in Kuwait City on 5 May 2020 [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]

Thousands of Egyptians working in Kuwait lost their jobs after the Kuwaiti Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended flights from 31 high-risk countries, including Egypt, as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of Egyptians returned home, however with the suspension of flights between the two countries; they will not be able to return to work.

According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a number of private Kuwaiti companies have informed their employees that their contracts have been terminated.

Meanwhile, an "unnamed" official in the Kuwaiti Public Authority for Manpower said nearly 340,000 expatriates had left the country following the outbreak of the virus, adding that some Kuwaiti companies had asked for permission to recruit new employees if their workers did not return.

According to the official, more than 64,000 expatriates whose residency permits have expired will not be able to return to Kuwait unless they obtain new work visas.

A number of expatriates who left the country have flats that they have rented and overdue rent payments and bank loans which need to be paid off, experts have said. As a result, they added, realistic solutions need to be found to protect the workers' rights and that of those who they have entered into contracts with.

Nearly 518,843 Egyptians work in Kuwait.

READ: 'Kuwait will review flight ban to Cairo', says Egypt

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