by our Correspondent in Dhaka
Dhaka has urged the countries hosting migrant workers to consider the interest of expatriated Bangladeshis with empathy as they fell victim of global pandemic of novel coronavirus.
While briefing diplomats in Dhaka, Foreign Minister AK Abdu Momen and Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister jointly made the call as thousands of Bangladeshi workers are stranded at home because of the pandemic. The workers are struggling to find ways to get back to work amid the shortage of flights to different destinations.
Envoys from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Oman, Iraq and Malaysia were present at the briefing. Middle East countries host a large number of Bangladeshi workers, who contribute a lot to the economy by sending remittance back home.
The government arranged the briefing to highlight the problems the migrant workers have been facing since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
“We urged them to see the matter sympathetically,” Momen told reporters after emerging from the meeting with the diplomats. He added nearly 6,000 workers have already returned while the others would be able to return.
Apart from Saudi Arabia, Bangladeshi workers have no problem with other countries in sending our stranded expatriate workers, added the minister.
Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia will operate at least 20 flights a week to resolve the problem, said Momen adding that Saudi embassy in Dhaka would re-issue 25,000 visas for Bangladeshi workers who availed it in March last and whose visas expired amid the pandemic.
He called upon the stranded Saudi-bound workers to keep patience as ‘by-at-large’ everyone will be able to renew their visas.
He said the Bangladeshis expatriate workers are smart and hard-working while they know how to survive in the difficult time.
Ahmed said he expects positive response from the hosts.