Brac to support 7,250 returnee migrant workers
Brac has come forward to support 7,250 returnee migrant workers, who were affected financially by the Covid-19 pandemic, providing them support worth Tk 3 crore under a new programme.
Already, some 1,545 migrant workers have received the financial support through mobile banking service, said the organisation.
Others will receive the support similarly soon, they said.
The financial support programme was launched formally during a virtual conference yesterday.
Shariful Hasan, head of Brac Migration Programme, said they scrutinised a list of over 16,000 returnee migrant workers to select the 7,250 beneficiaries with help from Brac and government officials in different districts.
He said Brac has plan to spend Tk 100 crore in the next three years for development of returnee migrant workers, including for skills training and long-term reintegration.
The Tk 3-crore programme has been implemented with help from Royal Danish Embassy, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Prottasha project, Children for Investment Fund Foundation and Brac UK, said organisers.
The beneficiaries are mainly returnees from Middle East, Southeast Asia, North African and some European countries.
They returned empty-handed either after losing jobs or facing financial hardship due to economic fallout caused by coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the event as chief guest, Expatriates' Welfare Ministry Secretary Ahmed Munirus Saleheen termed the initiative a timely step.
Employment opportunities for Bangladeshi migrant workers have declined significantly over the last five months, while remittance inflow also saw a downturn, although not drastically, he said, adding that the government has undertaken loan initiatives worth Tk 700 crore to economically support returnee migrant workers.
He urged other stakeholders to undertake initiatives similar to the one by Brac, and come forward supporting migrant workers.
Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies, said such kind of support initiatives will help boost migrant workers' morale.
KAM Morshed, senior director of Brac, said their aim is to support workers both for short and long term, so that they are able to turn their fortunes again.
Refika Hayta, deputy head of mission at Danish Embassy in Bangladesh, among others, spoke during the virtual conference.