Four to five countries, including the Maldives, have informed Bangladesh that they want to send back undocumented Bangladeshi workers because of job cut amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday.
"Though the number of countries which made the request is a few, it is a pressure on the government now as the whole world is facing a pandemic," Momen told reporters after a meeting with Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad at the latter's office.
However, Momen hoped that Bangladesh will not be in big trouble considering the ties it maintains with those countries, and steps are being taken to further strengthen relations with them.
"We will take steps case by case, considering the ground reality."
Momen said Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, over the phone, conveyed the situation of the undocumented Bangladeshis there.
Highlighting the downfall of the tourism business and the closure of restaurants there, Abdulla Shahid assured Momen of taking well care of the documented nationals.
"The Maldives initially urged the undocumented nationals to get registered. We do not think all will return," said Momen.
However, the foreign minister refused to mention the names of other countries and the total number of undocumented nationals in those countries at this moment.
Responding to a question, Momen said they have already written to different countries to thank them for their initiatives to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and for extending their supports to Bangladesh missions and Bangladeshis abroad.
"We also shared our current economic situation with the countries. We will face the challenges together. I must say each country is sympathetic to us," he added.