Drive to redress demographic imbalance in the country gathers momentum

A Kuwaiti lawmaker has proposed replacing expatriate employees in the Foreign Ministry and affiliated diplomatic missions with nationals, the latest call in a vigorous drive seeking to curtail numbers of migrant workers in the country.

MP Mohammed Al-Heweila has demanded in his proposal that all jobs in the Foreign Ministry with all its sectors, embassies and consulates abroad to be “Kuwaitised”, Al Jadida newspaper reported Monday.

He said that there increasing numbers of Kuwaiti job seekers while Kuwait’s government agencies, including the Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions, are “packed” with expatriates. “There are large numbers of Kuwaiti graduates and jobless people, who are still waiting for work. The numbers annually increase,” Al-Heweila added without giving specific figures.

Foreigners account for nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.

In recent months, several Kuwaiti public figures have accused expatriates, mainly the unskilled labour, of straining the country’s health facilities and increasing the COVID-19 threat.

Last month, a number of Kuwaiti lawmakers presented a draft bill, proposing a quota system for employing foreigners as one way to reverse the population imbalance in the country. Several government institutions have recently unveiled plans to minimise numbers of their foreign employees.

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