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Immigrants feel the pressure of inflation twice, at home and abroad

dubai – Almost anywhere in the world, people are spending more on food fuel, rent, transportation.

But inflation doesn’t affect people equally. For immigrants whose relatives depend on remittances, rising prices are afflicting families both domestically and internationally.

Migrant workers who send cash to loved ones abroad are often left with less savings, as rising prices force them to spend more.For some, the only option is to work hard, work weekends and nights, and have a side job. reduce what was once basic Like meat and fruit, you can send the rest of your savings back home to your family. fighting hunger Or conflict.

“I used to save about $200 a week. Now I only save $100 a week. Carlos Huerta, aged 18, said.

Across the Atlantic, 49-year-old Lissa Jataas sends about €200 ($195) monthly from her desk job in Cyprus to her family in the Philippines. To save her money, she searches grocery stores for cheap food and buys clothes at charity shops.

“It’s about being resilient,” she said.

Economies reeling from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change have taken another hit. russian ukrainian war,sent Soaring food and energy prices.

Their cost plummeted 71 million more people will fall into poverty worldwide In the weeks following the February invasion, halt shipments of vital grains From the Black Sea region, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

when Food and fuel prices soar, the money people can send to their relatives is not as high as it once was. The International Monetary Fund estimates that global inflation will peak at 9.5% this year, but is well above that in developing countries.

“Poor people spend far more of their income on food and energy,” said Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at anti-poverty group Oxfam.

He said inflation was “igniting” inequality and that “poor people are like sponges for absorbing economic shocks”.

Mahdi Warsama, 52, came to the United States from Somalia as a teenager. An American citizen who works for the non-profit Somali Parent Autism Network, he sends $3,000 to his $300 monthly to relatives in Somalia, sometimes borrowing money to help relatives need it for medical bills and other emergencies. I sometimes send things.

Warsama, who flies back and forth between Columbus, Ohio, and Minneapolis, estimated he sent $1,500 last month to help relatives buy food, water and other essentials for himself and his livestock.

thousands died Drought hits Somaliathe United Nations said that 500,000 children Risk of death from malnutrition Or near famine.

“Just as inflation is happening in the United States, it’s getting worse in Somalia,” he said, noting that a bag of rice, sugar and flour that used to cost $50 is now $70. added.

He is looking for ways to change his spending habits and earn more. monitor interest rate rises And inflation—something he hasn’t done until this year.

“I am determined to work harder and make more money,” Warsama said. “We have to pay more attention to the fact that we have to help relatives back home.”

In New York, Huerta has been separated from his wife and children for nearly 20 years and will do anything from washing the dishes to driving an executive to earn enough money.

He said he transfers about $200 a week to his wife and mother in Puebla, Mexico. Huerta also learned to paint a house, which allows him to make about $150 a day without a driver.

With a monthly income of about $3,600 and rising rents for her Queens mansion, Huerta said she switched from steak to chicken, cut down on her fruit intake and canceled cable as prices skyrocketed.

For Jaatas, who has lived in Cyprus for almost 20 years, the six relatives she supports in the Philippines are not only facing rising costs, but also reeling from the aftermath of a typhoon that destroyed water and electricity. increase.

“We want to help families get home no matter what disasters or shortcomings they face,” she said.

Analysis by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace The Philippines is said to be the most food-insecure emerging country in Asia. rely on imported food.

Esther Beattie, who heads a branch of the European Network of the Filipino Diaspora in Cyprus, said Filipinos are seeking additional income to help relatives back home who are struggling to afford staples such as rice and sugar. Therefore, it is common to work on Sundays in the Mediterranean island nation.

In developing countries, low-income households Spend more than 40% of your household income on food Even with government subsidies, said Peter Ceretti, an analyst who tracks food security at the crisis advisory firm Eurasia Group.

Ali el-Sayyed Mohammed, 26, arrived in the United Arab Emirates in February after several years looking for work in Egypt.

“I took the step of leaving because life is expensive and wages don’t cover enough,” he said. “It was a difficult decision at first, but in this situation I had no choice.”

With his father dead, Mohammed is the breadwinner of the family, supporting his three sisters and his mother. He hails from Beheira and has seen many young men leave and embark on deadly voyages across the Mediterranean in search of work in Europe.

Saved around $1,000, Mohammed came to Dubai and hit it off with friends until he landed a job at Haduta Masreya, one of the city’s most popular Egyptian restaurants.

However, the high cost of living in Egypt has made his goal of saving enough money for his sister to marry next year or to secure his own future even more difficult. Inflation in Egypt rose to around 16% as the currency depreciated. Life is getting harder for millions of Egyptians living in poverty.

Mohamed Yunis, manager of Haduta Masreya, said, “There are many staff members whose families rely on the income they earn from the restaurant and most of their income is sent to their homes so that the people there can live. has become

The restaurant recently raised wages to meet the rising cost of living, he said.

According to Younis, more Egyptian men are reaching out in search of work.Operated by Unis A YouTube channel called “Restaurant Clinic” We provide advice in Arabic on how to be successful in the restaurant industry. He warns that moving to the UAE is risky, as finding a job for him takes time and money.

Back in Minnesota, 36-year-old school bus driver Mohammed Aden is moonlighting as an Uber driver to support his wife, children and brother who fled Somalia to Kenya due to violence in his home country. Is called.

Without a work permit in Kenya, his family relies on his money transfer. That’s almost half of his monthly income of $2,000.

However, he pays a high price for gasoline and food prices are higher in Kenya, so the money doesn’t go very far.

Aden tries to visit Kenya every December during the cold Minnesota winters.

“I can’t go this year because of inflation,” he said. “I’m the only one here, I’m supporting my family…but I’ll go again when I have the money.”


Ahmed reported from Minneapolis, Torrens from New York, and Hadjicostis from Nicosia, Cyprus.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/business/2022/10/24/migrants-feel-inflations-squeeze-twice-at-home-and-abroad/ Immigrants feel the pressure of inflation twice, at home and abroad

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