Bangladeshi migrants pay high costs: World Bank

DHAKA, August 30, 2009 (AFP) – Bangladeshi migrant workers spend an average of 2,300 US dollars securing employment abroad — the equivalent of more than 18 months’ work in their new job, the World Bank said in a report.

The World Bank survey calculated they send home on average 1,480 dollars a year and that their families had a significantly higher-than-normal standard of living.

Remittances count for 10 percent of GDP in Bangladesh, but the number of people heading overseas to work has fallen sharply this year due to the global economic downturn, according to government figures. Bangladesh relies on money sent back by millions of its overseas workers but many of them are forced to borrow from their families or sell assets to pay the costs of getting work in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or elsewhere.

The World Bank report, Who migrates overseas and is it worth their while?, revealed the upfront expense of agents’ fees, air tickets, passports, visas and other permits.

The survey, released last week, said 28 percent of migrant workers found the money through their own savings, 21 percent through friends and family and 12 percent sold off assets.

Other methods of raising the sum included