Chicken, Egg Situation for Jamaicans in Qatar

QATAR - As Qatar was isolated by Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, the country experienced some panic buying in supermarkets on Monday (5 June), according to international reports — but the small Jamaican community there appeared to be nonchalant about any looming difficulties.
calendar icon 7 June 2017
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A Jamaican currently living in Qatar, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said people are clearing supermarket shelves “like a hurricane is coming”, but noted, “I haven't experienced anything significant or drastic”.

According to Jamaica Observer, business appeared normal, with only the supermarkets looking busy.

A total of almost 100 Jamaicans currently live in Qatar.

“Everyone is here to work or for work. So as long as the work is continuing and pay cheques are coming in, I think we're good.

“Jamaican people are strong. We have survived hurricanes — no power, no water for weeks. So it's just a wait and see.”

While the country imports about 90 per cent of its food, much of that comes from places like Africa and India, he said, while the main items imported from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are chicken and eggs.

“I'm not doing any panic buying. As long as there is water and electricity, I am good. So I am waiting to see what happens,” the Jamaican said.

He noted that Qatar went through a similar event, though not as severe, about three years ago, with countries closing airspace and ports to Qatari planes and vessels.

The Arab states severed diplomatic ties yesterday with Qatar and moved to isolate the energy-rich nation that is home to a major United States military base, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups and backing Iran.

The decision plunged Qatar into chaos and ignited the biggest diplomatic crisis in the Gulf since the 1991 war against Iraq.

Qatar criticised the move as a “violation of its sovereignty”. It has long denied supporting militant groups and described the crisis as being fuelled by “absolute fabrications” stemming from a recent hack of its State-run news agency.

Saudi Arabia closed its land border with Qatar, through which the tiny Gulf nation and international travel hub imports most of its food.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began withdrawing their diplomatic staff from Qatar and regional airlines announced they would suspend service to its capital, Doha. Yemen's internationally backed Government, which no longer holds its capital and large portions of the war-torn country, also cut relations with Qatar, as did the Maldives and one of conflict-ridden Libya's competing governments.

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