• Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:38 am

IOM assists vulnerable returning migrants impacted by Covid-19 pandemic

  • Published at 12:32 pm May 20th, 2020
Migrant workers
File photo of Migrant workers at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

At least 806 vulnerable migrants have been traced through 10 EU funded reintegration service centres since March.

International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with Brac, has been focused on providing assistance to vulnerable migrants returning from the European Union (EU) countries following the coronavirus pandemic.

The organizations are looking to secure additional funding to assist vulnerable migrants, particularly those returning from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries where there have been large-scale, sector-wide retrenchments following the decline in oil prices.

With EU support and under the coordination of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, IOM is assisting migrants stranded abroad and those who have returned.

Support and counselling are provided to callers to hotline (+8809610102030) set-up by IOM for migrants, promoted and accessed through www.probashihelpline.com.

Since March 2020, a total of 111,470 migrants have reached out via the website, either through social media interactions or through app-based calls.

Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary of Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, commented: “Migrants are the front line soldiers of our national development. It is our priority to ensure the safety and security of migrant workers affected by the pandemic.”

Since March 2020, 806 vulnerable migrants, returning from EU countries, have been traced through 10 EU funded reintegration service centres that cover 64 districts.

Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, Rensje Teerink, said: “Through the EU-funded Prottasha project, we ensure in this new post-coronavirus reality, that migrants returning to Bangladesh from EU Member States have all the tools at their disposal to be able to reintegrate themselves into society.”

IOM Chief of Mission in Bangladesh Giorgi Gigauri said: “Our concern is that the most vulnerable of these migrants will require immediate assistance to meet their needs for food, shelter, psycho-social, and health assistance and in the medium to long-term they will require debt mediation assistance, and diversification of livelihoods assistance to build their resilience and ensure sustainable reintegration.”

Brac has engaged a 100 staff and over 1000 community volunteers in Covid-19 awareness-raising activities.

“Migrants need the right Covid-19 related information at the right time so that they protect themselves and rebuild,” said Brac Executive Director Asif Saleh.

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