Some 28% of the returnees claimed to be already in debt, a recent study finds
Some 47% of the Bangladeshi migrant workers who returned home last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic are yet to get engaged in any income-generating activity, says a Brac survey.
Hence, they are either left dependent on family members or on personal loans from their near and dear ones, says the survey revealed on Friday.
On the contrary, 53% of the expatriates have started small businesses or are working as day labourers to make a living. Still a whopping 98% returnees are extremely concerned about their future.
Brac Migration Program carried out the survey titled “Searching and Analysing the Socio-economic Status of Returnees”, which is actually a follow-up on the 1,360 migrant workers from 30 districts who returned to Bangladesh in March and April last year.
The first survey on them was published on May 22 last year. However, 207 of them have already travelled abroad again while just 417 of the expatriates, including only 4.32% women, gave detailed information when contacted for the survey.
Most of the expatriates have returned to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UA and other Middle Eastern countries.
As many as 88.01% of the migrant workers, who participated in the survey, now live in villages. At least 87% of the returnees said they had no source of income in last year’s survey. But this time around, some 52.77% expatriates got an income source.
Those who could not manage a work (47.22%) are relying on their family income or taking loans from friends and relatives.
Some 28% of the respondents claimed to be already in debt, while the rest (72%) said they wanted to return abroad to earn their daily bread.
The survey also highlighted the psychological state of the migrant workers caused due to a drastic fall in income and uncertainty about future employment and family issues.
Some 98% expatriates said that they were in growing mental pressure and panic. The figure last year was 74%.
Satisfyingly, 71% of the returnees received decent behaviour from their relatives and neighbours.
Nearly 500,000 Bangladeshi expatriates were forced to return home between March last year and this April. Many of them returned due to panic, while others came due to different reasons including termination of job and illness. Many of them returned permanently and others came on leave.
Currently, more than 10 million Bangladeshi expatriates work across the world. Despite the pandemic, the country’s remittance earnings amounted to $22 billion last year. In the first three months of this year, another 150,000 Bangladeshis went abroad for livelihood.