Jordan’s garment sector is top destination for Bangladeshi women workers

Jordan’s garment sector is top destination for Bangladeshi women workers
Bangladesh started exporting skilled garment workers to Jordan in 2010 through a government agreement. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 30 October 2021

Jordan’s garment sector is top destination for Bangladeshi women workers

Jordan’s garment sector is top destination for Bangladeshi women workers

DHAKA: Jordan has become a top destination for skilled garment workers from Bangladesh, officials in Dhaka say, as hundreds of Bangladeshi women find employment in the kingdom’s clothing sector every week.
Bangladesh started exporting skilled garment workers to Jordan in 2010 through a government agreement. Jordan’s garment industry has expanded rapidly in the past few years, and two thirds of Bangladeshi female workers in the kingdom now find employment at its clothing factories.
In other Middle Eastern countries, Bangladeshi women work mostly as domestic helpers.
According to data from the Bangladeshi Embassy in Amman, the Jordanian garment sector currently employs 40,000 Bangladeshi women.
“Every week we recruit around 500 female migrants for Jordan’s garment sector,” Mohammad Abdus Sobhan, company secretary of the state-run Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services, told Arab News. “It’s a very good opportunity for Bangladeshi female migrants to earn more as a skilled workforce with much more dignity.”
“All they need to have is some working experience in the local garment factories,” he said, adding that average monthly salary of Bangladeshi garment workers in Jordan is between $260 and $360 and that all of them initially receive two-year contracts.
The demand for Bangladeshi labor has been on the rise since the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, Sobhan said. In 2020, the kingdom accepted only about 3,700 garment workers from Bangladesh, but this year up to Sept. 30 more than 12,300 had already left for the Middle Eastern country.
Jordanian employers bear all the costs of processing working permits, travel, accommodation and healthcare.
Bangladesh Nari Sromik Kendro (BNSK), a rights organization for migrant workers, has been conducting awareness campaigns in the country’s rural areas about work opportunities abroad. It has found that workers are interested in joining Jordanian garment factories due to their employment model.
“Our female migrants are very interested in taking the opportunity since it’s an employer pay model, where the employer bears all costs to have the migrants’ services,” BNSK executive director Sumaiya Islam said.
Workers themselves say higher incomes are also a factor.
“My elder sister joined a garment factory in Jordan three years ago. The working environment and salary structure is much better than in Bangladesh,” said Masuma Begum, a 33-year-old single mother of two who is scheduled to fly to Jordan next month. “So, I also decided to join my sister.”
Kulsum Akter, 27, another garment worker who is preparing to work in Jordan, said the job will help her to provide for her whole five-member family.
“The job in Jordan will double my income,” she said. “Now I will provide better education for my seven-year-old son.”
BRAC, the largest development organization in Bangladesh, encourages the authorities to do more to tap into the Jordanian market
“It’s a very good opportunity for our female migrants since they earn more without any incidents of abuse,” BRAC’s head of migration program Shariful Hasan said.
“We need to make the people aware at the grassroots level, so that the intended migrants can make an informed decision about their opportunities in the overseas market.”
Dhaka’s ambassador to Amman, Nahida Sobhan, said the embassy is regularly in touch with Jordanian authorities, the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, the Jordan Garments, Accessories and Textiles Exporters Association, and individual factory owners to facilitate the employment of Bangladeshi workers.
“We are maintaining regular contact with Jordan’s Ministry of Labor and other government agencies to bring more Bangladeshi workers,” she said. “We have regular interaction with the business community.”


Russia puts jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s brother on wanted list

Russia puts jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s brother on wanted list
Updated 10 sec ago

Russia puts jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s brother on wanted list

Russia puts jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s brother on wanted list
  • Oleg Navalny, whose whereabouts are unknown, was last year held under house arrest between January and April
  • He was handed a one-year suspended sentence for violating safety regulations linked to the COVID-19 pandemic
MOSCOW: Russia has put the brother of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on a wanted list, according to interior ministry records, as he faces a summons for a court hearing that could convert a suspended sentence against him into a prison term.
Oleg Navalny, whose whereabouts are unknown, was last year held under house arrest between January and April and handed a one-year suspended sentence for violating safety regulations linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those charges were filed after he took part in a Moscow rally against his brother Alexei’s arrest.
The Federal Penitentiary Service will petition a Moscow court on Feb. 18 to sentence Oleg Navalny to jail time for failing to comply with restrictions imposed against him for violating safety regulations, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old was released from prison in 2018 after serving three-and-a-half years for an embezzlement conviction that critics say was designed to pressure his brother and smother dissent.
Alexei Navalny was given a suspended sentence in the same case, converted into a prison term last year because of alleged parole violations. He says the charges against him are politically motivated.
An anti-corruption campaigner and high-profile critic of President Vladimir Putin for the past decade, he survived being poisoned with a nerve agent in 2020 and his political network was banned as “extremist” last year.

UK says not ruling out sanctions on Russia’s Vladimir Putin

UK says not ruling out sanctions on Russia’s Vladimir Putin
Updated 26 January 2022

UK says not ruling out sanctions on Russia’s Vladimir Putin

UK says not ruling out sanctions on Russia’s Vladimir Putin
  • Western leaders step up military preparations and made plans to shield Europe from a potential energy supply shock

LONDON: Britain is not ruling out sanctions targetted at Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in person if Russia invades Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Wednesday.
US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would consider personal sanctions on Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, as Western leaders stepped up military preparations and made plans to shield Europe from a potential energy supply shock.
Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops around Ukraine and the West fears it may invade in an attempt to annex its former Soviet republic.
Asked about possible sanctions on Putin, Truss told Sky: “We’re not ruling anything out.”
“We’ll be bringing forward new legislation to make our sanctions regime tougher so we are able to target more companies and individuals in Russia. We will be bringing that forward in the next few days. I’m not ruling that out.”
Truss said the United Kingdom was supplying defensive weapons to Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly said it has no intention of invading Ukraine, that it can deploy troops wherever it wants on its own territory and that the West is gripped by Russophobia.


Blast in Greek capital damages buildings, one injured

Blast in Greek capital damages buildings, one injured
Updated 26 January 2022

Blast in Greek capital damages buildings, one injured

Blast in Greek capital damages buildings, one injured
  • Debris littered the street a day after a severe snowstorm swept the capital disrupting traffic and stranding thousands of people

ATHENS: One person was injured and several buildings were extensively damaged by an explosion in central Athens that led to a fire early on Wednesday, officials and witnesses said.
One person who suffered burns was taken to hospital, Giorgos Mathiopoulos, the head of workers at the National Center for Emergency Care, told Skai TV.
The blast smashed windows and wrecked the facades of buildings along the major traffic artery of Syngrou Avenue, which links the city center to the southern suburbs, while damaging buildings up to 200 meters (656 ft) away.
Debris littered the street a day after a severe snowstorm swept the capital disrupting traffic and stranding thousands of people.
At least 18 firefighters used seven engines to battle a blaze at one buildings and have nearly brought it under control, the fire brigade said.
It was not immediately clear what triggered the blast or the fire, officials said.
“We have a fire, there was a blast before that,” said a fire brigade commander at the scene.


Coronavirus-hit Australian warship delivers disaster aid to Tonga

Coronavirus-hit Australian warship delivers disaster aid to Tonga
Updated 26 January 2022

Coronavirus-hit Australian warship delivers disaster aid to Tonga

Coronavirus-hit Australian warship delivers disaster aid to Tonga
  • Crew of the HMAS Adelaide would follow drastic health protocols to ensure Tonga remains free from COVID-19

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga: A coronavirus-hit Australian warship docked in Tonga on Wednesday, delivering desperately needed aid to the volcano-and-tsunami-struck nation under strict “no-contact” protocols.
Tongan Health Minister Saia Piukala said the crew of the HMAS Adelaide would follow drastic health protocols to ensure the remote Pacific kingdom remains one of the few places in the world still free of COVID-19.
“The ship will berth and no contacts will be made. Australians from the ship will unload their cargoes and sail from port,” he told reporters.
The Adelaide was deployed as part of an international aid effort after the January 15 eruption that generated massive tsunami waves and blanketed the island nation in toxic ash.
The warship is carrying about 80 tons of relief supplies, including water, medical kits and engineering equipment.
Despite all crew members testing negative before departing Brisbane, officials in Canberra on Tuesday said 23 coronavirus cases had been detected on the vessel.
Piukala said that number had increased to 29 by Wednesday.
The ship’s 600-plus crew are fully vaccinated, and the Australian Defense Force said Tuesday that the initial 23 patients were asymptomatic or only mildly affected.
It said the ship has a 40-bed hospital, including operating theaters and a critical care ward.
Piukala said contactless protocols were being applied to all relief supplies, including those aboard the HMAS Adelaide, meaning all goods offloaded from foreign planes or ships would be left in isolation for three days before being handled by Tongans.
The ship is said to be loaded with about 250,000 liters (66,000 US gallons) of water, buckets, jerry cans and portable field-testing kits that can now be offloaded.
“We can do that in a contactless way, spray the equipment so that the chance of passing on the virus is obviously negligible,” Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said Tuesday.
“Under no circumstance will we compromise the health and well-being of those Tongans who have already had a concerted effort against the virus by protecting themselves, and the virus is not present on the island.”
But coronavirus restrictions are already hampering the aid effort in other ways.
Japan has announced its aid aircraft will pause trips between Australia and Tonga due to four COVID-19 cases among the mission’s staff.
“We are making sure that the impact on the mission is minimal, and once our review of anti-infection measures is completed, we’ll continue the mission,” a defense ministry official said.
Tonga closed its borders in early 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe.
Since then, the nation of 100,000 has recorded just one COVID-19 case, a man who returned from New Zealand in October last year and has since fully recovered.
However, the devastating blast from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which lies about 65 kilometers north of the capital Nuku’alofa, has created what the Tongan government describes as an “unprecedented disaster.”
Entire villages were washed away by tsunamis, while ash has poisoned water supplies and destroyed crops.
Remarkably, there have been only three reported fatalities, which the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said was thanks to effective early warnings issued by the Tongan government.
OCHA said communications severed by the eruption were slowly being restored and assessment teams were visiting hard-to-reach areas to gauge the full scale of the disaster.
It said 85 percent of Tonga’s population had been affected, with access to safe water, ash clearance and food supplies the main priorities.


South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases surge as new testing scheme begins

South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases surge as new testing scheme begins
Updated 26 January 2022

South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases surge as new testing scheme begins

South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases surge as new testing scheme begins
  • Highly contagious but less-lethal omicron became the dominant variant in South Korea last week
  • Omicron surge has fueled worries about a new wave of infections ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday

SEOUL: South Korea’s daily new coronavirus cases exceeded 13,000 for the first time on Wednesday, driven by the spread of the omicron variant, as the government launched a new pilot testing scheme to meet skyrocketing demand.
The record 13,012 cases for the previous 24-hour period came just a day after the tally first topped 8,000 despite the extension of tough social distancing rules.
The highly contagious but less-lethal omicron became the dominant variant in South Korea last week, and the daily numbers could more than double or surge to even higher levels in the coming weeks, health officials warned.
“Going forward, our top priority is to reduce critically ill patients and deaths,” Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum told an inter-ministry meeting on Wednesday.
The government introduced a new testing policy in four designated cities on a pilot basis, under which only priority groups take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test while others can get a rapid antigen test at a local clinic for faster initial diagnosis.
The program will be scaled up starting Saturday to enable 256 state-run testing stations nationwide to distribute the rapid antigen self-test kits, Kim said. Another 430 local clinics will be added next week.
As part of efforts to free up resources for serious patients, the government has also cut mandatory isolation for people who have been vaccinated but tested positive to seven days from 10, and expanded self-treatment at home for asymptomatic and mild cases.
Son Young-rae, a health ministry official, said more than 80 percent of intensive care unit beds are available nationwide, compared with some 20 percent in early December when record-breaking infections threatened to saturate the country’s medical system.
South Korea is currently carrying out 400,000-500,000 PCR tests a day, but has capacity for 800,000, Son added.
The omicron surge has fueled worries about a new wave of infections ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday which begins on Saturday, when tens of millions travel nationwide to meet families.
President Moon Jae-in also met with aides on Wednesday to oversee the government’s efforts, calling for moves to prevent any potential shortages of test kits and ensure sufficient consultations with doctors at local clinics.
On Tuesday, some 46 South Korean athletes and coaches who will compete in the Beijing Olympics had to receive a COVID-19 test after attending a ceremony for the delegation where an official at the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee later tested positive.
South Korea, with a population of 52 million, has largely been successful in mitigating COVID-19, with 762,983 total infections and 6,620 deaths.
More than 95 percent of adults are fully vaccinated with some 58 percent having received a booster dose, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.