Myanmar migrants are receiving a helping hand from the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) after thousands have been left unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and are having to return from neighbouring countries like Thailand.
With only 234 cases, six deaths and 145 recoveries from the virus, Myanmar’s factories still remain closed or suspended. Those migrant workers returning home largely from the countries of China, Malaysia and Thailand, only add to the large-scale unemployment in Myanmar.
Stephen Anderson, WFP Myanmar country director, said the agency has given safe and nutritious hot meals and meal boxes to 35,000 workers arriving from abroad in cooperation with the Health and Sports Ministry and state and regional governments.
“At this challenging time, it is vital that the returning families’ essential food and nutrition needs are met while they comply with the government’s measures to keep the virus at bay,” he said.
The WFP has been providing meals since April to returning migrant workers in transit and at quarantine centres in Kayin, Mon, Shan, Yangon and Tanintharyi states and regions.
Thailand seems to harbour most of the workers being forced to leave with about 60,000 Myanmar workers expected to return home.
U Bo Bo Wai Maung, Kayin’s Social Affairs minister, hailed the support of the UN food aid agency. “Thanks to the WFP working together with the state government, we are providing the returnees nutritious food and drinking water,” he said.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has urged the country’s diplomatic missions abroad to help the migrants, whose remittances makeup 1 percent of the country’s gross national product. She further encouraged Myanmar citizens inside to welcome the returning workers.
SOURCE: Myanmar Times
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