Terming the Covid-19 pandemic as a "war-like situation," Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday directed Bangladesh ambassadors to extend all-out support to ease sufferings of Bangladeshi workers.
The minister gave the directives during a videoconference held over the Covid-19 crisis with nine Bangladesh Ambassadors and mission chiefs in the Middle East.
Terming the Bangladeshi workers abroad as "remittance warriors," Momen directed the envoys to ensure that none of them have to starve owing to the pandemic-led job cuts.
The minister said Bangladeshi expatriates are better suited to agricultural work. He asked the ambassadors to expedite diplomatic efforts to find alternative labour markets involving agro production and pisciculture.
Momen said Bangladeshi workers would prove their merit through contributing to food supply in the post pandemic world.
"They play a director role in development in different countries. We must watch out so that our workers do not lose their jobs suddenly," said the foreign minister. He also directed the envoys to ensure salaries and allowances if any worker is laid off.
Momen said if Bangladeshis staying abroad want to return home, they will be brought back in phases so that they can go through a proper 14-day self-isolation.
The minister also asked the missions to discharge their services with more sincerity and professionalism. During the meeting, the ambassadors informed the minister that they have introduced "Bangabandhu Corner" at the missions.
Envoys from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman took part in the videoconference.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen were connected to the meeting.