Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen recently said if the drastic fall of outgoing migrant workers from Bangladesh continues it will bar the country's graduating Least Developed Countries (LDC).
"Many of our migrant workers are being sent back home. We already have a drastic fall in the numbers going abroad for work. If this situation continues, this would have long term negative impact on our progress to achieve SDGs and our graduation from LDC status," he said.
The minister was speaking at a roundtable on "Global Partnership during and post COVID 19" at Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum (GEEF) arranged by the Ban Ki-moon Centre. Citing a recent report of the World Bank, the minister said, "Bangladesh along with other countries of South Asia would have around 22% decline in its remittance, our second-largest source of earning from abroad."
Abdul Momen mentioned that a staggering 6,00,000 migrants workers have returned from overseas during the Covid-19 pandemic. "Rehabilitating them on such short notice during this crisis period is proving to be a daunting challenge," he added.
Foreign Minister also noted that the government proposed 2% incentive has gained Bangladesh record amount of remittance even during the pandemic. However, he also remarked that developing nations are being heavily impacted by the global migration crisis. He further said Bangladesh feels that the plight of migrant workers in the pandemic situation.
"The resulting dramatic decline of remittance warrant immediate and comprehensive policy intervention," he added. The minister urged the United Nations and other international stakeholders to take appropriate measures in this regard.
"We believe that the UN has an important role to play in addressing the migration crisis," he said adding that it must be ensured that jobs of the migrant workers should be retained for the next six months. He requested the world community to advise all UN agencies to include the migrants in crisis in their strategies and activities on Covid-19 response.