Govt forms 700C fund for jobless Bangladeshi migrant workers

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More than 78,000 Bangladeshis have returned home after losing their jobs overseas since April 1

The government has formed a Tk700 crore fund for rehabilitation and re-employment of jobless migrant workers who have returned home after losing their jobs overseas, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since April 1, more than 78,000 Bangladeshis have returned home from 26 countries after losing their jobs due to the pandemic.

“The Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment has undertaken various programs, including a Tk700 crore fund, for the welfare of the jobless Bangladeshi migrant workers,” Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad said.

Under the fund, the affected Bangladeshi workers will get investment credit at 4% interest, the minister said, adding that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed between the Expatriate Welfare Bank and the Wage Earners Welfare Board on July 12 for providing soft loan on rehabilitation of the jobless overseas workers.

Elaborating on the ministry’s initiative, the minister said the government had earmarked nearly Tk10 crore as emergency food and other assistance for the vulnerable expatriate Bangladeshi workers. 

The family of each expatriate Bangladesh worker, who have passed away due to Covid-19 infection, will get Tk3 lakh as soon as possible.

The government will also give certificates and recognition to the skilled jobless workers who have been affected due to the global pandemic. The affected Bangladeshi workers and their family members will be given humanitarian assistance, including financial aid, under the social safety net program, the minister added.

Of the jobless overseas Bangladeshi workers, 73,311 are male and 4,732 workers are female; they returned to the country between April 1 and August 22, said M Fakhrul Alam, assistant director of the Expatriate Welfare Desk at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka.

The highest number of Bangladeshi migrant workers returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) –a total of 25,653 workers, of whom 24,553 are men and 1,100 women.

Some 15,389 Bangladeshi workers have returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), of whom 13,796 are men and 1,593 women. Most of the Bangladeshi workers in the KSA have returned to the country with the “outpass” after imprisonment in different terms.

From the Maldives, a total of 7,909 Bangladeshi workers returned to the country, as the island nation is a tourist country and most jobs there are tourism-based, which were closed because of Covid-19.

The other countries from where Bangladeshi migrant workers have returned include Singapore, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, South Africa, Qatar, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Jordan, Iraq, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Italy, Lebanon, Russia, Mauritius, Turkey, Nepal, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Japan. 

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