HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB) has helped more than 1,500 families of migrant workers who lost their lives in foreign lands.
According to FEPB, 1,550 families have received benefits in the last four years since the support started in February 2009. A majority of the support has been provided to families of migrant workers who died in major job destinations — Gulf countries and Malaysia.
About 991 migrant workers died in Gulf countries — Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman — while there were 533 deaths in Malaysia alone till April. It has provided support worth Rs 153.32 million till date.
“The families of a total of 1508 males and 42 females received the support,” said executive director at the board Sthaneshwor Devkota. The board has helped 481 male and 12 female migrant workers in nine and a half months (till April) of the current fiscal year.
The board has started providing Rs 150,000 as financial support to the families of the victims from the current fiscal year. Earlier, it was Rs 100,000. “We also provide help for medical treatment,” he said, adding that the support is given only for special conditions.
According to the board, families of about 533 migrant workers who died in Malaysia have benefited from the support programme followed by Saudi Arabia (419), the United Arab Emirates (356), Qatar (141) and Kuwait (28). Workers who lost their lives in other destinations like Lebanon (15), South Korea (12), Israel (3) and Japan (1) have also benefited.
The board’s data reveals that cardiac arrest is the second largest cause of death among Nepali migrant workers and claimed 327 lives in the last four years. Nepali migrant workers who died while sleeping (cause of death unknown) is placed under the category. Road accidents, suicides, workplace accidents and heart attacks were other causes of death that claimed 214, 148, 144 and 91 lives respectively.
According to the board, about 90 families had taken the welfare benefit in 2008-09 while the number of people availing the benefit has reached 493 in the first nine and a half months of the current fiscal year.