The Corona crisis has gone with everything I have, accumulated debts on us, disrupted my children’s marriage, and we continue to suffer the same suffering for 13 months, and what increases life’s difficulties are the night restrictions and closures.”
With burning and pain, the auto repair technician Ahmed Abu Aisha (47 years old), in his empty garage of cars in the industrial zone of Ain Al-Basha, north of the Jordanian capital Amman, speaks about the deterioration of his living conditions due to the Corona crisis, and the preventive measures and closures that followed. Read also Liquidity crisis, bankruptcy and bounced checks .. What awaits Jordan’s merchants and industrialists?Corona deprives the Jordanian sectors of the financial returns of the elections … and the electronic is superior to the paper Jordan .. Fears and questions after raising the minimum wage The Jordanian Minister of Transport announces contacts for the return of land freight with Qatar
The severity of his living conditions, according to his statement to Al-Jazeera Net, was further compounded by the absence of official assistance to him, as “I submitted requests for assistance to government agencies on all platforms established to support day laborers, and unfortunately, I did not receive any financial support.”
Jordan is witnessing, over a period of two months, a wave of societal outbreaks of the Corona virus, which increased the number of infections and deaths, forcing the official authorities to take a set of preventive measures to control the outbreak, through which they imposed a night curfew and a closure of institutions and facilities starting from seven in the evening until six in the morning of the next day, This negatively affected the commercial and economic movement in the Kingdom.
Abu Aisha added, “The beginning of the crisis last year was good for us with the Hemmat Watan Fund to support day laborers, and the official authorities asked us to submit requests for financial compensation, but unfortunately I did not receive any support, and the social protection programs are intended for participants in social security, and we are not covered by these programs.” “.
During the conversation with Abu Aisha, dozens of day laborers and technicians gathered in the car maintenance workshops, each complaining about his difficult condition and miserable conditions. Mustafa Al-Ajouri (28 years) was forced to live in the garage after he left the house he was renting because he was unable to pay the rent. And his wife and child moved to live with her family.
As for Raafat Al-Masry (31 years old), as a result of the crisis, he closed his garage and started working with a friend in selling vegetables for a rented car, and among the speakers there are many and varied stories of poverty that daily business workers are experiencing due to the ongoing Corona crisis.
These workers, self-employed and small enterprises constitute about 1.4 million workers, accounting for 48% of the workforce in Jordan, estimated at 2.5 million workers, according to experts, and most of them lack social protection programs, and they are not subscribed to social security.
Khaled Abu Marjoub, head of the General Syndicate for Workers in Public Services and Free Professions, told Al-Jazeera Net that “the scale of the damage suffered by day laborers and informal professions during the Corona crisis is very high, and the damage continues by closing important economic sectors, such as wedding halls that occupy more than 10 Thousands of workers. “
He added, “The financial aid programs provided to this segment formed support for them, but the biggest problem is the continued closure of important service, commercial and productive sectors that employ thousands of Jordanians as a result of the pandemic.” Advertising
Jordan has witnessed the closure of some service sectors for 13 months, the most important of which are electronic and electrical games stores, health and sports clubs, exhibition and conference halls, wedding and event halls and sectors supporting them, cinemas, theaters, and others.
Labor expert Ahmed Awad told Al-Jazeera Net that “the damage that afflicted this vast group of workers is doubled, and pushed them into poverty as a result of the disruption of their work and the cessation of their sources of income, and the government provided financial assistance to a segment of them, but it was simple and little for a specific period of time.”
He added that “the working conditions of these workers are difficult as a result of their daily work without fixed income, their low wages, and their lack of social protection programs.”
Awad explained that the authorities of his country are required to include them in social security for a period of one year, so that the authorities have a clear and comprehensive database of the workforce in the Kingdom, and that they are also required to develop protective tools for them, and to involve them in the insurance with appropriate financial fees through which they can pay their contributions.
The Jordanian authorities launched, through the National Aid Fund in the Corona crisis for the past and current two years, a program to provide cash support to daily business workers unemployed due to the pandemic.
Through it, it provided financial support to 410,000 Jordanian families from the families of these workers, with a total value of 232 million dinars ($ 327 million), according to the fund’s media director, Najeh Sawalha, to Al-Jazeera Net.
Sawalha added that the financial aid was distributed to the families of unemployed Jordanian daily business workers, at 70 dinars (one hundred dollars) for a family of two people, and for a family of 3 or more, they were given aid worth 136 dinars ($ 200).
According to experts, the suffering of this segment is complex and is increasing as a result of the absence of social protection programs, and their failure to include them because they are limited to social security subscribers only, and their work has been widely affected by the consequences of the economic pandemic and closures.