Workers to be Evacuated from Gulf
Dhaka, Bangladesh, Feb. 27 2002 (INS News) -- The
Government of Bangladesh is taking preparation to
bring back about 2,00,000 Bangladeshis from different
Middle East countries if the United States finally
attacks Iraq, official sources said.
has already written to the International Organisation
for Migrants (IOM), a UN body, for assistance in repatriation.
are taking preparation to repatriate nationals of
the countries like Bangladesh if war breaks out in
the Gulf," said a high official of IOM's South
Asian office in Dhaka.
IOM is writing to the developed countries for funds
for evacuation, he said.
regional office will also co-ordinate the repatriation
of nationals of other South Asian countries and Indonesia
and the Philippines.
IOM provided assistance in repatriating around 1.62
lakh Bangladeshis from Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf
an inter-ministerial meeting at the foreign ministry
held February 22 reviewed the government's preparation
Minister M Morshed Khan chaired the meeting attended
by State Minister for Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas
Employment Mohammad Quamrul Islam, State Minister
for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin
and representatives of home, defence and communications
Bangladesh missions in the Gulf will be asked to take
steps for repatriation, meeting sources said.
expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry
will co-ordinate between the UN body and other ministries.
Bangladeshis will first be sent to Saudi Arabia before
will keep its border open to war victims for emergency
shelter, the meeting was told.
Middle East has around 18 lakh Bangladeshis, including
11 lakh in Saudi Arabia, 3.25 lakh in the United Arab
Emirates and 1.62 lakh in Kuwait, according to sources
in the expatriates' welfare ministry.
Humayun Badal - Bangladesh
Correspondent in Dhaka, Bangladesh
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