18 Bangladeshi migrants back from Lebanon

After the International Organisation for Migration in close coordination with the governments in Bangladesh and Lebanon, 18 Bangladeshi migrants were able to return to Dhaka from Beirut on Saturday.

According to a press release, all migrants were subject to health checks prior their departure. They also received pre-departure assistance and counselling services.

The statement stated that returnees were also provided with post-arrival assistance in Bangladesh and will be receiving reintegration support.

It stated that the movement was part of a coordinated effort by the Bali Process through its Voluntary Returns Support and Integration Assistance Program and IOM's Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions initiative, which is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to support and protect stranded immigrants, especially against human trafficking and slavery.

Nearly half of the stranded migrants in Lebanon, according to an IOM survey, wanted to return home.

The economic crisis in Lebanon and the political impasse following the Beirut Port explosion one year ago have led to an increase in migrants seeking to return to their home countries.

According to IOM's survey, many migrants lost their livelihoods and jobs due to the concurrent crises in Lebanon. Furthermore, increased exploitative practices like non-payment of wages or unfair dismissal by employers have caused greater hardship for migrants.

One of the returning migrants said that he found it difficult to live in Lebanon because he could not meet his basic needs and his family back home.

"Migrants from Lebanon need help to survive and return home to their homeland." IOM was very helpful in arranging my return from Bangladesh,' he said.

"Many migrants are reaching for the IOM's help. They have lost their jobs. They feel unsafe, are starving, cannot get medical care and feel unsafe. Many feel so desperate they want to flee the country but do not have the financial means," said Mathieu Luciano (Head of IOM Lebanon).

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