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Four Egyptians in 10 want to migrate for work post-revolution

The International Organisation for Migration’s survey of 750 young Egyptians reveals that the closed job market makes migration more appealing than last year, despite their optimism about the future

Ashraf Amin, Wednesday 1 Jun 2011
Cover of IOM survey of Egyptians
Cover of IOM survey of Egyptians' intentions to migrate post-revolution
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In a recent survey by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) 41 per cent of the youth in Egypt confirmed that the events post-revolution makes them want to migrate.

The survey was presented on Monday in its final draft during the IOM press conference on safe migration at the Italian Cultural Institute in Zamalek.

According to Pasquale Lupoli, IOM’s MENA region representative, the survey was taken in the last 2 months in order to monitor the shift in Egyptians’ thoughts on migration after the revolution.

The study interviewed 750 Egyptians between the ages of 15 - 29 from 17 different governorates.

"By comparing with last year’s survey, we noticed a slight increase in willingness for migration" summarised Lupoli.

The survey reveals that the first weeks of the revolution didn't seem to influence Egyptian’s decision to migrate. However, the decline in economic activity afterwards and the losses of jobs and incomes acted as a primary push factor for youth who reported intentions to migrate.

When asked what their top five most important issues are, they ranked jobs and employment as a primary issue; then corruption; security; constitutional reform and at the bottom of their list was education and the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Half of the respondents mentioned that the higher salary prospects abroad is the major pull factor for migration. They also favoured Saudi Arabia and UAE compared to the Western world for short-term migration.

Over 80 per cent of the respondents got information about migration either through a relative or a friend living abroad. Fifty per cent of participants said they will be willing to work in jobs that don't match their specialisation and 30 per cent of the youth perceived irregular migration channels as "easy".

When asked about their expectation for the future in Egypt, 63 per cent showed cautious optimism and 80 per cent expected the national economy to improve over the course of the next year.

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