May 8: The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) has started a study into the impact of the second wave of Covid-19 on foreign employment.
Krishna Prasad Dawadi, Director General of the DoFE, said that the department is carrying out a study on the impact of Covid-19 on foreign employment sector in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and associations of recruiting firms.
The department has requested the MoFA and associations of manpower companies to collect data of workers affected by the Covid-19 as well as other details on the impact of the pandemic on foreign employment from the respective embassies of the labor destination countries, according to Dawadi.
He said that they have sought details on the Covid-19 situation in the destination countries, impact of pandemic on Nepali workers working abroad and their current condition.
Following the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19, the number of Nepali workers going for foreign employment has been falling in line with a decline in the demand for workers from labor receiving countries.
“Since the international flights were suspended from May 6, the number of migrant workers leaving for foreign employment on Wednesday and Thursday was the highest if compared to the average number of workers leaving the country in recent months. However, the number of Nepali workers going abroad was already on a declining trend," said Dawadi.
“We cannot say for sure that the second wave of the Covid-19 is the cause for the decline. So, we have decided to conduct the study,” he said.
According to Dawadi, the study would help the government to understand how Nepali workers are impacted by the Covid-19 while working abroad as well as come up with relief and other necessary support to them.
Foreign employment was severely affected by the first wave of Covid-19 and subsequent containment measures including the lockdown imposed in Nepal and destination countries. Thousands of Nepali workers were unable to go for foreign employment while many people returned home after losing their jobs abroad.
The demand for workers was gradually increasing after the effects of Covid-19 started to subside. However, the unfolding Covid-19 crisis is once again hitting the foreign employment sector.
Though international flights have been suspended, the department has not stopped distribution of work permits. The DoFE has started online services to issue work permits to Nepali workers to go for foreign employment. According to Dawadi, the DoFE has not stopped issuing work permits to avoid a backlog of applications for work permits and ensure that the department is not crowded with workers after the ongoing prohibitory period ends.