November 19, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese authorities have sounded the alarm bell over huge increases in the numbers of employment cadres who migrate outside the country, saying the trend is severely hurting the economy.
- FILE PHOTO - Passengers queue to check-in at Khartoum’s international airport September 13, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
A report released by the ministry of labor on Monday said that the migration rate has jumped this year to 75,631 people with the majority being of medical and technical professions. It also revealed that the number of doctors who migrated outside the country in the last five years is 5,028 while 1,002 technicians also left, mostly in 2012.
The report said that the biggest challenge to the government is the migration of medical and scientific specialists after its rate reached 14,407.
This trend was confirmed two days ago when 12 prominent medical specialists from the faculty of medicine at Khartoum University tendered their resignations in order to migrate. The ministry of health in Khartoum State said that the migration of the medical work force represents a catastrophe, attributing it to the economic crisis in the country.
Economic conditions in Sudan have been worsening since the country lost three quarters of its oil wealth – and main source of state revenues - to South Sudan when the latter seceded in July last year. In an effort to plug the budget gap, the government introduced an austerity program that reduced subsidies on fuel and sugar, causing massive increases in the prices of food and transport.
The Sudanese minister of human resources, Amna Dirar, said in a report she presented on Monday to the council of states that the reasons for increases in the rate of migration ranged from low wages to lack of employment opportunities and their abundance in the countries to which skilled Sudanese migrate.
According to the minister’s report, the rate of migration reached its peak in 2012 with 75,631 Sudanese leaving the country compared with 10,032 migrants in 2008. This is a 654% increase in just five years, the minister warned.
The minister’s report pointed out that the biggest recipient of Sudanese workers is Saudi Arabia with a 91 percent of those who migrated in the last five years, followed by UAE with 3.5 percent. The report also pointed out that in the last five years, most of those who migrated are technicians (58,484), followed by farmers and herder (54,100).
Dirar warned that the migration of medical specialists and technicians is a great loss to the economy and has the most severe impact on development.
Commenting on the minister’s report, a member of the council of states called on the government to accelerate the process of peace-making in the country saying that many Sudanese have left because of armed conflicts.