In Bangladesh, limited employment opportunities for a growing working age population means that many young men and women move overseas to work. Although often a worthwhile investment, the initial costs of going abroad are considerable, costing the average household USD 3,000 for going to the Middle East.
BRAC provides workers seeking employment abroad with migration loans, designed to meet the financing needs of migrant workers in a way that is manageable and affordable. The microfinance programme also checks the validity of contracts and travel documents to ensure clients are not victims of fraud by informal agents. This is complemented by a range of services available from BRAC’s safe migration programme such as pre-migration orientation and post-migration re-integration.
As of June 2016, BRAC has helped fund 194,000 migrant workers find employment abroad.
BRAC provides additional support to migrant households in the form of remittance loans. These loans are designed to offer additional flexibility to households who rely on monthly remittances sent from a family member earning overseas.
These loans enable households to access lump sums of money in order to make large investments or expenditures, while they wait to receive and save remittances sent from abroad. These are safe bets for the household and for BRAC because clients have a secure flow of income with which to steadily pay off instalments each month.
Between June 2014 and June 2016 BRAC offered this service to over 40,000 households.