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FM Tells Envoys

Expedite efforts to protect rights of workers in 11 ME countries

Published : Tuesday, 28 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 482
Diplomatic Correspondent

The Foreign Ministry has directed the heads of missions in 11 countries in the Middle East (ME) to expedite diplomatic efforts so that Bangladeshi workers in those countries can get back their jobs once the Covid-19 situation gets normal.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen gave the directive while he was addressing the Bangladesh ambassadors in 11 countries in the Middle East (ME) through videoconferencing on Monday, a Foreign Ministry release said.
The 11 countries are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Libya, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Oman.
He also directed the envoys to ensure salaries and allowances if any worker returns to Bangladesh through their diplomatic efforts. The Foreign Minister urged the Bangladeshi envoys to continue providing food assistance to the workers.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Bangladesh Ambassadors to ME countries were present.
They discussed the current situation and the impacts of coronavirus on Bangladesh nationals in 11 Middle Eastern countries.
Dr Momen also urged all to follow health guidelines to avert the risk of coronavirus. Under the MoFA guidance, the Bangladesh missions abroad have established 'Hotline Numbers' and many missions formed 'Pool of Doctors' to provide online medical advice to the expatriate Bangladeshis.
MoFAhas dispensed funds for Bangladesh missions abroad in coordination with the Ministry of Expatriate's Welfare and Overseas Employment.
The Bangladesh missions distributed food and necessary items among the Bangladesh community living in different countries, particularly in the Middle East with the allocated funds.
The MoFA, in cooperation with the Army, has sent some gifts to few countries, including Bhutan, the Maldives, China, Kuwait, etc.
The MoFA established a web page titled "COMBAT CORONA" on its website for providing telemedicine services, awareness raising and disseminating Covid-19 related information which is also connected with hotlines of the Embassies.
It has also created a "WhatsApp Envoys" group through which they disseminate/communicate information instantly.'
Besides, Foreign Minister Dr Momen has sent letters to the foreign ministers or spoken over to many relevant countries and few letters have been sent jointly by the Foreign Minister and Expatriate's Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister.
Dr Momen urged the member states of OIC to give utmost importance to the issue of job retention of domestic and resident migrant workers. He also proposed establishing an OIC Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
He urged for engaging humanitarian organisations in the Member States of OIC to provide sufficient financial assistance, medical support to the Muslim migrant workers from LDCs and developing countries until the impact of the epidemic is over and also to advocate for their job retention to ensure their healthy livelihoods.

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