52pc returnee migrants already need financial aid: BRAC

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A survey released by Bangladesh-based international development organization BRAC on Friday reveals 87 per cent of the country's returnee migrants- amid the COVID-19 pandemic - are still struggling without any source of income in their changed circumstances, reports UNB.

Also, 52 per cent of the returnees said they need financial aid on an emergency basis, said Shariful Islam, head of BRAC's migration programme in a virtual meeting with journalists where the findings of a BRAC survey titled 'The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Life and Livelihoods of Returnee Migrants,' were disclosed.

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A third of the returnees, or 33 per cent, said they can afford their living expenses for three months or a bit more, based on their present financial condition.

Survey methods and respondents

BRAC, over mobile phone, conducted the survey among 558 immigrant workers, who have returned home from different countries.

Altogether a 20-member BRAC team conducted the survey among the returnees from Dhaka, Tangail, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Narsingdi, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Cumilla, Noakhali, Sirajganj, Rangpur, Khulna and Jashore districts.

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Among the survey respondents, 45 per cent immigrant workers returned from Saudi Arab, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait in the Middle East while the other 65 per cent immigrant workers returned from Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, The Maldives and other countries.

However, among the respondent, 86 per cent returned home in March.

Returnees' financial situation

According to BRAC survey, 34 per cent of the returnees said they have no savings at all, while 19 per cent of them said they can afford two months' living with the savings they have.

Among the total respondents, 33 per cent said they can afford living three months and a bit more with their savings, while ten per cent informed that they have had to borrow money already to meet the daily needs.

However, 14 per cent of the survey respondents refrained from disclosing information about their savings.

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