The independent migrant worker was already barely making ends meet. Because of the increased telecommunications expense, she will have to limit her calls to family and possible employers.

According to the United Nations, Lebanon is home to an estimated 250,000 migrant laborers, the majority of whom are from Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Their domicile is frequently subject to “kafala” a sponsorship arrangement that rights organizations claim allows employers disproportionate influence over their employees’ life.

Lebanon’s three-year economic crisis has further exacerbated their plight, with employers leaving domestic migrant employees on the streets as their monthly pay – ranging from $150 to $400 – became too costly.

Some went freelancing, living on their own and earning money by cleaning or nannying.

But that is becoming more difficult. Lebanon’s currency has lost 95% of its value, while food and public transit expenditures have almost tripled.

The internet is the next major challenge.

Until this month, Lebanon’s telecoms sector charged for phone calls, broadband, and mobile internet using the government’s old peg of 1,500 Lebanese pounds to the dollar.

With limited revenue, the state was unable to import enough fuel to power telecoms transmitter stations, resulting in coverage cuts throughout 2021.

To revert this trend, Lebanon’s cabinet announced that telecoms tariffs would be calculated using the government’s Sayrafa platform’s much weaker flexible currency rate.

Source: Reuters

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