Yadav Raj Joshi
KATHMANDU: Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB) has allocated over Rs 212 million for migrant workers welfare introducing education, skill trainings and health services programmes. Meeting of board of directors approved Rs 212.76 million budget along with programmes for current fiscal year, said Mukunda Adhikari, director at the department. “Most of the programmes are new and specific to welfare of migrant workers and their families,” he said.
FEPB has brought scholarship schemes for 900 children of migrant workers. The scheme gives priority to children of deceased or physically handicapped migrant workers, he said. Rs 5 million has allocated for the scheme. Likewise, the board has allocated Rs 3 million for reunification of women migrant workers (WMWs) in family.
Family reunion has been a major challenge among WMWs from years. Recent report of Maiti Nepal had revealed that over 60 per cent WMWs are mentally or physically ill and their reunion cost is too high. The board has introduced language trainings for domestic help heading towards job markets in Gulf countries, Israel and Lebanon.
“Hebrew and Arabic languages are our main target,” he said. Language is identified as barrier to communicate for domestic helps in the Gulf countries. Over 100,000 Nepalis WMWs are believed working in Gulf countries–– Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and others–– despite the government’s ‘not to encourage’ policy. But the documented workers in those destinations limited to 20,000 as per Department of Foreign Employment (DOFE). Moreover, FEPB is providing financial help to family members of migrant workers. Up to Rs 50,000 will be provided for medical support, he said. The board is also providing legal aid to migrant workers in destinations from current year. The board has allocated Rs 60 million for compensation. The money will be provided to the family of migrant who dead aboard at the rate of Rs 100,000 per head.
Last year, FEPB had provided over 20 million to families of deceased migrant workers. Around Rs 4 million is allocated to run safe houses in the country for mentally and physically challenged migrant workers and Rs 1.4 million skill trainings.