Bangladesh sets target to send 1 million workers abroad in 2022

More than 10 million Bangladeshis are living and working abroad, according to the country's Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training. (Shutterstock image)
More than 10 million Bangladeshis are living and working abroad, according to the country's Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training. (Shutterstock image)
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Updated 02 March 2022

Bangladesh sets target to send 1 million workers abroad in 2022

Bangladesh sets target to send 1 million workers abroad in 2022
  • Authorities hopeful to reach target as 70% of Bangladeshis should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in April 
  • Over 10 million Bangladeshis are living and working abroad, mainly in the Middle East

DHAKA: Bangladesh is seeking to send 1 million workers abroad this year and diversify labor migration destinations, a top overseas employment official has said, as the country ramps up its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to reach the target.

Over 10 million Bangladeshis are living and working abroad, mainly in the Middle East. They are the second largest contributor of the country’s foreign remittances after the garment sector. Last year alone, they sent over $22 billion back home, according to Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training data.

“We have a plan to export 1 million migrant workers to different countries around the world, and we are working to explore every possibility in this regard,” Mohammed Abdul Kader, additional secretary of employment, policy and research at the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment, told Arab News earlier this week.

The government’s target nearly doubles the number of workers Bangladesh exported last year, when COVID-19 restrictions limited travel across the world.
Authorities are hopeful they will be able to reach the target as most of the country’s population has already been vaccinated against the virus.

“At present, there is no country in the world that accepts migrants without having both doses of the vaccine. Since we have reached the vaccination milestone set by the World Health Organization, it will surely keep us ahead in sending migrant workers to the world market, compared with our neighbors,” Kader said.

The WHO has urged countries to push for 70 percent vaccine coverage to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19.

With a population of around 170 million, Bangladesh has already administered around 210 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. As it ramped up the drive last month, health officials estimate that 70 percent of Bangladeshis will be fully vaccinated — with two vaccine doses — by early April.

Kader said that with most of its people vaccinated, the Bangladeshi government is planning to expand its labor migration to European countries.

“In early February, we signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece to send migrant workers over, which is a real breakthrough in our manpower exporting sector,” he added. “Now we are trying to open a new window with other European countries also.”

The diversification of destinations would come as Bangladesh’s main labor market — Saudi Arabia, which hosts over 2.5 million Bangladeshi workers and last year admitted nearly 75 percent of the country’s overall migrant manpower — is becoming increasingly competitive, with workers from other countries also seeking opportunities in the Kingdom.

“We have huge human resources, which many other countries in the world don’t have. To maximize the advantage, we need to create more skilled workers and provide training to migrants according to the needs of the receiving countries,” Ali Haider, former secretary-general of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies, told Arab News.

Shariful Hasan, head of the migration program at BRAC, the largest development organization based in Bangladesh, said that in the post-COVID-19 scenario, more jobs will be available for medical technologists and caregivers, and the government should focus on training in these sectors.

“We are much ahead now in terms of COVID-19 vaccination, and there is huge demand in the world market,” he added. “We should seize the opportunities.”


Man charged with new woman’s killing on streets of London

Updated 8 sec ago

Man charged with new woman’s killing on streets of London

Man charged with new woman’s killing on streets of London
LONDON: A man was remanded in custody Wednesday after appearing in a London court charged with the murder and attempted rape of a woman who had been walking home alone in east London.
It was the latest in a string of similar incidents that have heightened concern over the safety of women and girls on the British capital’s streets.
Jordan McSweeney, 29, is charged with the murder of 35-year-old Zara Aleena, who was attacked after a night out in Ilford in the early hours of Sunday.
McSweeney, who is also charged with attempted rape and robbery, spoke only to confirm his name and details during a brief hearing at the Thames Magistrates’ Court.
In a statement, Aleena’s family mourned her death and called for an end to violence against women. They highlighted the killings of other women who were targeted by strangers in London and elsewhere.
The family expressed sympathy to the families of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and others who were killed in recent months and whose deaths prompted widespread protests calling for more protection for women and girls.
The family said Aleena, a law graduate who was training to become a lawyer, “walked everywhere” and “believed that a woman should be able to walk home.”
“Sadly, Zara is not the only one who has had her life taken at the hands of a stranger. We all know women should be safe on our streets. She was in the heart of her community, 10 minutes from home,” their statement said.
Police said Aleena suffered serious head injuries, confirmed in a post-mortem examination.
McSweeney was denied bail and remanded in custody until he is due to appear at London’s Central Criminal Court on Jul. 27.
A march remembering Aleena is planned in Ilford on Saturday.

Japan’s Kishida backs Sweden’s NATO bid

Japan’s Kishida backs Sweden’s NATO bid
Updated 5 min 24 sec ago

Japan’s Kishida backs Sweden’s NATO bid

Japan’s Kishida backs Sweden’s NATO bid
  • Japan hopes to strengthen its relations with Sweden further as partners sharing basic values, Kishida added.

MADRID: Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio on Wednesday expressed support for Sweden’s bid to join NATO in a meeting with his Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, on Wednesday.
“We support (Sweden’s) historic decision. We also express our respect for its efforts,” Kishida told Andersson.
NATO, which opened a two-day summit in Madrid on Wednesday, is expected to grant membership to Sweden and Finland after Turkey switched to support their participation.
Kishida said that Japan and Sweden will hold the presidency of the Group of Seven major powers and the European Union, respectively, next year.
Japan hopes to strengthen its relations with Sweden further as partners sharing basic values, Kishida added.
Andersson expressed gratitude for Japan’s strong action against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.


Russian court lets opposition figure’s jail term stand

Russian court lets opposition figure’s jail term stand
Updated 29 June 2022

Russian court lets opposition figure’s jail term stand

Russian court lets opposition figure’s jail term stand
  • The decision by the Moscow City Court came one day after Ilya Yashin was sentenced

MOSCOW: A court in Moscow on Wednesday rejected a prominent Russian opposition figure’s appeal of the 15-day jail sentence he received on charges of failing to obey police.
The decision by the Moscow City Court, the capital’s highest municipal judicial body, came one day after Ilya Yashin was sentenced.
Yashin, who has publicly criticized Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, was detained late Monday in a Moscow park. Police said he grabbed an officer by his uniform and insulted police, which Yashin denied.
In May, Yashin was ordered to pay 90,000 rubles ($1700) on charges of discrediting the Russian military.
Russia has cracked down on critics of its “special military operation” in Ukraine, A well-known dissident, Vladimir Kara-Murza, was arrested in April and remains jailed while awaiting trial on charges of spreading false information about the military. The offense carries a potential sentence of up to 15 years.


NATO invites Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, Madrid summit statement says

NATO invites Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, Madrid summit statement says
Updated 29 June 2022

NATO invites Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, Madrid summit statement says

NATO invites Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, Madrid summit statement says
  • The alliance also agreed on a new strategic concept

MADRID: NATO has invited Sweden and Finland to become members of the military alliance, a commununique published by the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday said.
“The accession of Finland and Sweden will make them (the allies) safer, NATO stronger and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure,” the communique said, adding that the alliance also agreed a new strategic concept.
The communique described Russia as the “most significant and direct threat to the allies’ security,” a reaction to the massively deteriorated relationship to Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.
The alliance pledged further help to Kyiv and agreed a package of support aimed at modernizing the country’s defense sector.
At the same time, NATO decided to significantly strengthen its own deterrence and defense.
“Allies have committed to deploy additional robust in-place combat-ready forces on our eastern flank, to be scaled up from the existing battlegroups to brigade-size units, where and when required underpinned by credible available reinforcements, prepositioned equipment, and enhanced command and control,” the communique said.
In the communique, the alliance described China as a challenge to NATO’s interests, security and values, and as a country that is seeking to undermine the rules-based international order.


EU proposes ban on flavored heated tobacco products

EU proposes ban on flavored heated tobacco products
Updated 29 June 2022

EU proposes ban on flavored heated tobacco products

EU proposes ban on flavored heated tobacco products
  • A recent commission study showed a 10% increase in sales of heated tobacco products in more than five member nations
  • The ban would cover devices using heated tobacco to produce emissions containing nicotine inhaled by users

BRUSSELS: The European Union’s executive branch on Wednesday proposed a ban on the sale of flavored heated tobacco products as part of its plan to fight cancer.
The European Commission said its proposal comes in response to a significant increase in the volume of such products sold across the 27-nation bloc.
A recent commission study showed a 10 percent increase in sales of heated tobacco products in more than five member nations, while heated tobacco products exceeded 2.5 percent of total sales of tobacco products overall across the region.
The ban would cover devices using heated tobacco to produce emissions containing nicotine inhaled by users. E-cigarettes may contain nicotine, but not tobacco. With traditional cigarettes, users inhale smoke from burning tobacco.
“With nine out of 10 lung cancers caused by tobacco, we want to make smoking as unattractive as possible to protect the health of our citizens and save lives,” said Stella Kyriakides, the commissioner for health and food safety.
According to EU figures, cancer is the second cause of death in the bloc of 450 million residents. There are about 1.3 million cancer deaths and 3.5 million new cases annually in the EU.
An estimated 40 percent of EU citizens will face cancer at some point in their lives, with the annual economic impact estimated at around 100 billion euros ($120 billion).
The European Commission previously said it wanted to ensure that less than 5 percent of the EU population uses tobacco by 2040.
The proposed ban now goes to member nations and European Parliament lawmakers for review.