JEDDAH – The arrival of about 25,000 housemaids from Ethiopia has been delayed because of a shortage of flights from Addis Ababa, a senior official said here Friday.
Ali Al-Qureshi, member of the National Recruitment Committee and a member of the Recruitment Committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), has urged the airlines operating between the Kingdom and Ethiopia to increase their flights to lift the maids now stranded in Addis Ababa.
Saudi families are desperately seeking housemaids from other countries after their recruitment was banned from Indonesia and the Philippines earlier this month. With Ramadan fast approaching, the need for the housemaids is ever-growing with black marketeers making huge profits.
Al-Qureshi said the National Recruitment Committee has managed to employ a large number of Ethiopian domestic workers as part of the committee’s plan to open new channels for housemaids to break the Indonesian monopoly.
He said there are seven flights a week which are only enough to lift 1,000 maids a week. The recruitment procedure, he said, are normally completed in a fortnight, but the main problem is to make travel arrangements for the domestic workers.
Easy recruitment procedures in Ethiopia and the assurances given by the Ethiopian government for a smooth flow of domestic workers to the Kingdom have been encouraging factors for several recruitment offices in the Kingdom to look toward the African nation, he said.
Recruitment offices in the Kingdom see Ethiopian workers as good alternatives to Indonesians, some of whom have become a source of great nuisance to Saudi recruiters because they flee their employers and cause other problems, he added.
Yahya Aal-Maqbool, head of the Recruitment Committee at Jeddah Chamber, said Ethiopian domestic workers are good substitute for the Indonesian and Filipina workers, pointing out that Ethiopian maids have worked in the Kingdom for a long time, but they were employed by a specific class of the society.
In view of the unacceptable conditions set by the Indonesian and Philippines for recruitment of domestic workers from the two countries, the Saudi Ministry of Labor banned recruitment from those countries, which led the National Recruitment Committee to open new channels in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Vietnam.
The Saudi Gazett