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29 Feb 2024

Na'ilah Ebrahim, News24 (Israel)

Gaza war: Thousands of Africans head to Israel to fill in on farms

Thousands of farm workers from African countries are heading to Israel to fill gaps left in its agricultural sector amid the Israeli-Gaza war. 

According to the Israeli government, 30 000 and 40 000 workers are "missing from its farms", including Palestinians who can no longer travel to Israel during the war and foreign migrant workers leaving the country.

Malawi and Kenya have already sent workers, who are set to earn a fixed monthly salary of R28 920 ($1 500), according to reports in the Israeli media.

Earlier this month, during his State of the Nation address, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera said the country would seek to send 100 000 of its young workers as part of a planned agreement with the Israeli government.

"(What) is most exciting is that we are now on course to sign a government-to-government initiative and agreement with Israel, aimed at exporting 100 000 young people to go and work there, which will translate to $6 million in remittances," Chakwera said. 

As part of the agreement, the African country has already received over R13 million ($700 000), according to Finance Minister Simplex Chithyola Banda.

AFP reports that Malawi already sent 400 workers in December last year and will send 5 000 workers in the next few months...