Poor in Qatar, rich in the Central African Republic: The €350 starvation wage

by Vani Saraswathi

Poorest nation, richest nation (Issue III+IV/2018)


The professional painter originally comes from Nepal and he had hoped for a good life and a regular income when he immigrated to this Gulf state. But reality has caught up with his aspirations. Like many other migrant labourers in Doha, Gautham earns a pittance: Depending on the job, he makes between €150 and €350 a month. In a country where a salary of €3,000 only puts a wage earner into the lower middle income bracket, that is not enough to live on. Additionally the working conditions are bad. “When I do a  job for Qatari clients, I am often not allowed a toilet or meal break,” Gautham recounts. Like many others here, Gautham doesn’t have any set working hours and he only gets Fridays off.



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