IOM, BRAC helping Covid-19 driven migrant workers
The United Nation's Migration Agency, International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), has been helping Bangladesh expatriates who were compelled to return home due to Covid-19 fallout.
The migrants returning from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the European Union countries due to economic slowdown and large-scale, sector-wide retrenchments following the decline in oil prices are in the focus for rehabilitation.
According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), each year, around 600,000 workers migrate from Bangladesh in search of better livelihood opportunities abroad.
In 2019, around $18 billion was remitted to Bangladesh by migrants. IOM and partners are concerned that the predicted 22 per cent drop in remittances to South Asia, driven by the global economic slowdown, will have adverse consequences for migrants and remittance dependent communities in Bangladesh.
With EU support and under the coordination of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, IOM is assisting migrants stranded abroad and vulnerable migrants that have returned to Bangladesh from the EU.
The IOM has set up a hotline (+8809610102030) and link www.probashihelpline.com for returnees to seek desired help, according to IOM.
Since March 2020, a total of 111,470 migrants reached out via the website, either through social media interactions or through app-based calls, IOM said in a press release.
"Migrants are the frontline soldiers of our national development. It is our priority to ensure the safety and security of migrant workers affected by the pandemic. The Ministry is involved in many initiatives to support migrants," the press release quoted Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen as saying.