The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) facilitated the safe return of 160 Bangladeshi migrant workers from Libya on Wednesday.
These workers were stranded due to the coronavirus pandemic and the long-standing conflicts in the country.A special flight of Buraq Air carrying 159 male and a female workers reached Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Wednesday morning.
The workers were stuck in eastern cities, including Libya’s second-largest city Benghazi. They left for Dhaka from Benghazi on Tuesday.
The body of a Bangladeshi national who died in Libya was flown back home on the same flight.
The returnees underwent health check-ups at the airport, IOM said in a notice. Considering the current Covid- 19 situation, all returnees were also provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and underwent a Covid-19 PCR test prior to departure.
All of them have returned home voluntarily. Among them, nine were locked in a Libyan detention centre for being ill and seven others were detained for contracting the hepatitis B virus.
A significant number of the returnees had been working in Libya for the last 7 to 12 years.They were trying to return to Bangladesh amid the ongoing conflicting situation in Libya.
Lack of adequate work opportunities and the current socio-economic condition, including the devaluation of the currency, had intensified their crisis.
The workers were previously unable to return home as there were no international flights from Libya.