Foreign embassies in Bahrain step up support for nationals

FOREIGN embassies in Bahrain have stepped up efforts to support their nationals affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The measures include financial or food aid and aim to reduce the financial impact faced by expatriates, many of whom have either lost their jobs or have not received wages.

The Indian Embassy has launched a Covid-19 hotline, 39480270, for its distressed nationals.

A diplomat told the GDN the embassy has received numerous calls from distressed Indian nationals, with many complaining they are not able to pay rent.

“We spoke with some landlords and requested them to delay the rents and even provided financial assistance on a case by case basis,” said the diplomat.

“In addition to this there are people who left their jobs and wanted to return back, but are stuck here because of the flight suspension and they are being looked after (by the embassy).”

While the Philippines government has selected Bahrain among 10 countries in the Middle East to provide a one-time aid to its nationals.

Filipinos can avail of BD75 as financial assistance and can contact the Bahrain hotline, 38072476, of the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO).

Also taking the lead is the Sri Lankan Embassy which has communicated with its estimated 10,000 nationals in Bahrain informing them of measures they have taken including a food drive.

In a statement the embassy said that many Sri Lankans working in the hospitality, cleaning, domestic and other sectors have complained of non-payment of wages and issues related to food and accommodation, which have been discussed with their employers.

“The mission has paid particular attention to those Sri Lankans who engage in non-fixed and temporary jobs under the category of free visa since most of the employers are reluctant or refused their services due to the outbreak of Covid-19,” added the statement.

The Bangladesh Embassy has also started supplying food to its nationals since last month.

“We have a dedicated WhatsApp number where the worker sends his CPR details so we can get in touch and supply them with food aid,” the embassy’s labour counsellor Shaikh Islam told the GDN.

Bangladeshis, who account for the second largest expat community in Bahrain, can contact the embassy hotline on 33375155 for assistance.

The Thai Embassy last week also distributed more than 600 food kits to its nationals in Bahrain.




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