417 undocumented migrant workers to return from Lebanon tomorrow
After a two-month gap due to Covid-19 restrictions and domestic issues in Lebanon, undocumented Bangladeshi migrant workers there have started returning home.
Under the Bangladesh Embassy's voluntary repatriation programme, 417 Bangladeshis will return home in a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines tomorrow.
The flight will depart for Dhaka from the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport at 2:00pm (local time).
The Bangladesh embassy in Beirut today handed over plane tickets to the migrant workers at Al Ansar Stadium in the Lebanese capital. Ambassador Maj Gen Jahangir Al Mustahidur Rahman and Labour Counsellor Abdullah Al Mamun were present at the time.
After getting the tickets, the workers expressed gratitude to the Lebanese government and Bangladesh embassy to be able to return home in a short period of time without serving jail terms and paying fines.
According to the embassy, more than 7,000 undocumented Bangladeshis registered to return home under the voluntary repatriation programme. Of them, more than 6,000 Bangladeshis were able to return home in 16 special flights of Bangladesh Biman Airlines between February and April this year.
Due to the long lockdown enforced to contain Covid-19, political instability, inflation and unusual price hike of daily essentials, Bangladeshi expatriates in Lebanon have been enduring severe financial hardship and unable to return home since April.
Bangladeshis suffering financial hardship said they had to pay $400 as airfare facing utter difficulties since they were in financial crisis. They have had to arrange the money after borrowing those from home.
The writer is an expatriate journalist in Lebanon.