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Libya needs 1m Egyptian workers for reconstruction, says minister

December 21, 2021 at 11:27 am

Buildings can be seen in ruin after heavy fighting between revolutionaries and pro regime in Sirte, Libya on 23 January 2012 [European Commission DG ECHO/Flickr]

Libya needs nearly one million Egyptian workers to take part in the reconstruction of the country, the Labour and Rehabilitation Minister, Ali Al-Abed, announced yesterday.

Al-Abed’s remarks came during a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Saafan, held in the Egyptian capital Cairo to announce the launch of a joint electronic link system that aims at regulating travel for workers between the two countries.

The minister said that the portal would “save time and effort for Libyan companies to bring in the Egyptian workers they need without intermediaries or brokers,” adding that it would provide the “necessary protection for Egyptian workers from falling victim to fraud phantom companies.”

“We do not want the exploitation of labour by gangs, so we fight illegal immigration by regulating the entry of labour into Libya,” Al-Abed noted, warning that the Libyan government would not “bear the responsibility of a worker entering Libya outside this electronic system.”

On his part, Saafan said that Egypt was “keen on facilitating the recruitment of Egyptian workers needed in the Libyan labour market for its reconstruction.”

“The new mechanism will focus on the prevention of the illegal exploitation of labour imports and human trafficking in Libya,” he stressed.

Libya had been a major hub for Egyptian workers for decades; almost one million worked there in different fields until Egyptian authorities ordered the evacuation of their nationals after a Daesh affiliated militia kidnapped and beheaded more than 20 Egyptian Christian workers in 2017.

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