The government has formed a Tk700 crore fund for rehabilitation and re-employment of the jobless overseas workers as more than 78,000 Bangladeshis have lost their jobs and returned to the country from 26 foreign nations in last four months since April 1 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry has taken various programmes including formation a Tk700 crore fund for the welfare of the jobless Bangladeshi foreign workers", said Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad.
Under the fund, the affected Bangladeshi foreign workers will get investment credit at 4 percent interest, said the minister, adding that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Expatriate Welfare Bank and the Wage Earners Welfare Board on July 12 for providing soft loan on rehabilitation of the jobless overseas workers.
Elaborating the ministry's initiative, Ahmad said the government has earmarked nearly Tk10 crore as emergency food and other assistance for vulnerable expatriate Bangladeshi workers. The family of each expatriate Bangladesh workers who already have expired due to Covid-19 infection will get Tk3 lakh as soon as possible.
Even the government will give certificate and recognition to the skilled jobless Bangladeshi foreign workers who have been affected due to the world-wide pandemic and the poor Bangladeshi workers and their family members will be given humanitarian assistance including financial assistance under the social safety net programme, the minister added.
Of the jobless overseas Bangladeshi workers, M Fakhrul Alam, Assistant Director of the Expatriate Welfare Desk, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), said 73,311 are male and 4,732 workers are female who were returned to the country between April 1 and August 22.
The highest Bangladeshi foreign workers have been returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a total of 25,653 workers—where 24,553 are male and the rest 1100 are female.
Some 15,389 Bangladeshi workers have returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where 13,796 male and 1,593 female. Most of the Bangladeshi workers in the KSA have returned to the country with 'outpass' after imprisonment in different jail terms.
From Maldives, a total of 7,909 expatriate Bangladeshi workers returned to the country as Maldives is a tourist-prone country and that's why the people lost their jobs under corona pandemic.
The Jobless Bangladeshi workers have also returned from Singapore, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, South Africa, Qatar, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Jordan, Iraq, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Italy, Lebanon, Russia, Mauritius, Turkey, Nepal, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Japan during this time.