Saudi government terminates hundreds of Yemenis’ job contracts

According to a Yemeni official, the decision could affect “tens of thousands of Yemenis” amid the country already suffering from a lack of resources.

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It was reported that the Saudi government terminated job contracts of hundreds of Yemenis who live in the Kingdom’s southern region without any explanation. Medical personnel, academics and other professionals in various sectors are among those who lost their jobs during the last week.

Speaking to Reuters, some of those stated that they had not been given any reason for the government’s decision not to renew their contracts. According to the report, the exact number of people who lost their jobs during this process is unknown.

A source from Yemen’s internationally recognized government who asked to remain unnamed due to political sensibilities, told that the Saudi government’s decision could affect “tens of thousands” of Yemenis, particularly laborers.

At 40 years of age, a Yemeni doctor, Abdulrahman Tayeb, whose contract was terminated, said, “All the Yemeni doctors working in government hospitals in the south were told our contracts would not be renewed.” Tayeb has been told that the decision was notified by the labor office to the hospital where he worked, he added.

According to a document seen by Reuters, the Saudi Health Ministry issued an instruction to a government hospital in southwest Al Baha on July 27, ordering to “stop issuing new contracts or renew existing contracts for Yemenis.”

Another document from Najran University dating from August 8 indicated that a Yemeni assistant professor’s contract was terminated on the ground of “requirements of national interest.”

While the reason behind this decision is not clear, a Saudi analyst, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that the decision could aim to create job opportunities for Saudi citizens in the south as the unemployment rate has reached 11.7 percent in the Kingdom. Another possible explanation, according to the analyst, could be security concerns in areas close to the Yemeni Civil War, in which the Saudi-led coalition is engaging with the Iranian-supported Houthi group.

Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies estimates that 2 million Yemeni workers reside in Saudi Arabia, while how many of those in the south is not clear.

Remittances constitute a significant source of income for Yemen, whose economy collapsed due to the long-lasting civil war. According to the World Bank data, one in 10 people in Yemen require those remittances for basic needs.

According to a source in Yemen’s administration, President Mansour Hadi has discussed the matter with the Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman in the meeting held in recent days, and that foreign ministers would hold additional talks on the topic.

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