21 June 2013, Dhaka. The Word Bank signed a US$2.58 million grant agreement with BRAC today to implement a pilot project on Safe Migration for Bangladeshi Workers, with the objective of reducing vulnerability of migrant workers and their families. The pilot will be implemented across 80 upazilas in 20 districts and aims to benefit 864,000 potential migrants and their families.
The pilot project aims to develop and strengthen local information and support systems through Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for potential migrant families. CBOs will be strengthened to provide accurate and timely access to information and services for safe migration and ensure that potential migrants are well informed if they decide to pursue migration. Migrants’ family members will also be able to obtain information on more affordable ways to fund migration as well as manage remittances. Particular focus will be paid to female migrants. The pilot will also help to support and formalize local networks to facilitate information sharing on the migration process.
“While the economic gains from migration are obvious for both migrants and their families, migrants incur substantial costs, especially in the absence of complete information,” said Christine Kimes, Acting Country Head, the World Bank Bangladesh. “This project has great potential for reducing the vulnerability of potential migrants and their families by enhancing information flows about migrant rights, the migration process, affordable financing, and remittance management.”
Remittances from migrant workers in the fiscal year to date amount to more than US$ 13 billion and account for approximately 10 percent of GDP. Remittances are thus a major source of Bangladesh’s foreign exchange earnings. At the family level, they enable poor households to obtain better nutrition, education and health care for family members, and thus play a vital role in the fight against poverty.
“During the recent past, there has been a significant rise in work-related temporary overseas migration for export of services. Migrant remittances provide direct, immediate and far reaching benefits to the country,” said Mahabub Hossain PhD, Executive Director, BRAC. “This project will help strengthen BRAC’s efforts to better prepare potential migrants for overseas employment while improving the “migration value chain”, including lower migration and remittance costs for families.”
The grant financing is made under the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) financed by the Government of Japan and managed by the World Bank.