87pc returnee migrant workers have no income: report | The Daily Star
09:15 PM, May 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:21 PM, May 22, 2020

87pc returnee migrant workers have no income: report

Some 87 percent of returnee migrant workers do not have income opportunities now amid the shutdown enforced to contain coronavirus spread, said a survey report of Brac Migration Programme.

The report said the remaining 13 percent are either dependent on family members or have small income from farming.

Brac Migration Programme launched the report "The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Life and Livelihoods of Returnee Migrants", today during a virtual programme.

The report was based on telephonic survey conducted in April on 558 returnee migrant workers from 13 districts -- Dhaka, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Tangail, Narshingdi, Cumilla, Noakhali, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Sirajganj, Rangpur, Jashore, and Khulna.

According to the report, 52 percent returnees are in dire need of financial assistance, while nine percent said they were "taken care of" by government and NGOs, and some 10 percent returnees said they have taken loans from formal and informal sources.

The respondents, aged from below 30 to over 50 years and including eight percent female returnees, returned home between January and March this year.

About 45 percent of the workers returned from Gulf countries -- Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait. Of the others, 17 percent returned from Italy, 12 percent from Malaysia and nine percent from Singapore. The rest were from other countries including the UK and the US.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, nearly five lakh people, including over 200,000 expatriate workers, returned from abroad between mid-February and mid-March, the report said citing home ministry data.

It said 34 percent of the respondents have already spent their savings, 33 percent could manage for the next three months depending on their savings, and 19 percent said they could survive for one or two months. Others did not share information to this end.

Brac Migration Programme Head Shariful Hasan, who shared the report outcomes with media, said 14 percent returnees did not undergo any kind of quarantine.

Through the survey, Brac Migration Programme tried to understand the current status of the returnee migrants, socio-economic shocks they are facing, what coping mechanisms they are using, and the kind of support the returnees are getting, Shariful added.

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