Lebanon on Monday launched an online platform to facilitate employment for its nationals in Qatar as the Gulf state prepares to stage the World Cup.
The move, just weeks before the World Cup kicks off on November 20, is aimed at helping to tackle spiralling unemployment in Lebanon as it suffers its worst ever financial crisis.
“The platform for employment in Qatar in 2022 is tied to the World Cup as well as other long-term jobs,” Labour Minister Mustafa Bayram told a news conference.
He said it was part of his ministry’s efforts to “tackle the problem of unemployment” in Lebanon.
Bayram said the launch of the jobs platform came after talks with his Qatari counterpart on the sidelines of an Arab Labour Conference in Cairo last month.
He said Qatar was in a “rush” to employ a “large number of Lebanese”.
“The World Cup is a priority for them… and it is important for us to help them in this,” he said.
Lebanon’s official unemployment rate jumped almost three-fold to reach 29.6 percent at the start of the year, according to a joint survey by the government and the United Nations.
The new portal will allow Lebanese job seekers to register their skills, giving Qatar’s private sector a pool of potential candidates to employ.
The government in Beirut will play no role in the hiring process, Bayram said, but it will facilitate passport renewals for selected candidates.
This pledge comes amid a shortage of travel documents that has forced the authorities to delay the issuance and renewal of official papers for months.
After years of corrupt practices and financial mismanagement, Lebanon’s economy collapsed in 2019, stripping the national currency of 95 percent of its value and sending poverty rates soaring.