Sultan of Oman announces new job program amidst protests

Oman announced a new employment program aiming to create more than 32,000 jobs to recover injuries of the COVID-19 pandemic and to calm ongoing protests.

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Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, the ruler of Oman, ordered an urgent plan to create new jobs in response to protests in Oman which started on Monday, reported by Oman News Agency.

According to this plan, Oman aims to create an additional 32,000 jobs in public and private sectors for Omanis during 2021. 12,000 of these will be allocated to the government’s civil and military departments. The government will also subsidize self-employed and business owners. Sultan Haitham’s directives include supporting nationwide employment by all means.

These efforts aim to put youth employment as a top national priority. The new employment initiative is announced as a part of government efforts to enhance the country’s employment to recover the deteriorated economic conditions of the country.

This announcement is considered as a quick and preemptive response to mass protests spreading across the country. Protestors have raised their voice to criticize the deteriorating economic conditions of Oman by demanding employment. Youth unemployment constitutes the central point of protests. Omani police intervened in protests by using tear gas and arresting more than 100 people.

Oman’s economic performance has substantially deteriorated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Falling government incomes and growing budget deficits and unemployment became a chronic problem of the country. This economic crisis is seen as the main source of public protests.

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