Saturday, July 4, 2020 | ePaper

“87pc returnee expats have no income source”

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Economic Reporter :
About 87 percent of the migrant workers who returned to the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic have no source of income at the moment, according to a survey by BRAC.
Thirty-three percent of the returnees can live off their savings for three months or more while 52 percent said they need emergency financial assistance.
In the survey titled "Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of returnee migrants," 92 percent of the respondents were men and the remaining 8 percent women. Some 32 percent of them were below 30 years old, 47 percent were between 31 and 40 years of age, 16 percent were between 41 and 50, and the remaining 5 percent were over the age of 50.
Forty percent of the respondents said they had to come back due to the pandemic. 35 percent returned on leave or vacation, but are now uncertain over their return, while 7 percent mentioned Covid-19 did not influence their return. Some 18 percent said they came back due to personal and family issues and for other reasons.
Forty-five percent of the respondents came from Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait. About 12 percent returned from Malaysia.
Eighty-six percent of the respondents came back to the country in March. Among them, 62 percent returned in the first two weeks of March and 24 percent in the remaining weeks. Some 14 percent of the respondents returned between January and February.
"I worked at a hotel in Italy. I lost my job because of the pandemic and had to come back to Bangladesh in March," said one of the respondents.
Eighty-four percent said they maintained 14 days of quarantine after coming back to the country. Fourteen percent did not follow the quarantine period rule and two percent mentioned they were in quarantine for more than a week.
Twenty-nine percent mentioned their neighbours and relatives were not supportive when they came back to the country, but 97 percent said their families were supportive after their return.
Seventy-four percent mentioned they are now depressed and are feeling stress, anxiety, and fear while the remaining 26 percent said they have no mental health issues. A total of 96 percent mentioned they are physically well and 4 percent said they are not.

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