By Sara Anabtawi
Cash wired back to region increased 6 percent in 1Q2012, after growing just 2.6 percent last year
Moneys sent in remittance to countries in the Middle East and Africa grew by 6 percent in the first quarter of 2012, after growing by just 2.6 percent last year due to political uncertainties caused by the Arab Spring, a study found.
The Cairo University report, sponsored by Western Union, found that increasing volumes of construction work in the GCC had led to the rebound in the early part of this year.
"If the Gulf is bettering its infrastructure projects, who will do all the work? It's people from the manpower-exporting countries who will go to the UAE, to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, [they] do all the work and send the money back home,” said Jean Claude Farah, Western Union’s senior vice president for the Middle East and Africa.
Countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia rely heavily on migrants from South Asian and African countries for cheap labour in their construction sectors.
Lobbyist groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have frequently questioned the treatment of foreign workers in Gulf and Middle Eastern countries.