World Bank to help Bangladeshis prepare for migrant work abroad

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 21, 2013 12:37 PM

DHAKA (Reuters) - The World Bank signed a $2.58 million deal with Bangladesh's biggest non-governmental agency on Friday to help improve prospects for Bangladeshis intending to migrate abroad for work.

Under the deal with the BRAC NGO, a pilot project will develop Community Based Organisations to help ensure potential migrants are well informed about states where they seek jobs and help manage remittances to their kin in Bangladesh.

"While the economic gains from migration are obvious for both migrants and their families, migrants incur substantial costs, especially in the absence of complete information," said Christine Kimes, World Bank acting director in Bangladesh.

Bangladeshis and other impoverished Asian migrants are vulnerable to harsh working conditions and exploitation in some target countries, even if they earn a good deal more there than they could at home, rights advocates say.

Remittances from migrant workers in the fiscal year to date amount to more than $13 billion - approximately 10 percent of GDP in the South Asian country.

About 8 million Bangladeshi expatriates send home money earned abroad, mainly in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Mark Heinrich)