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Nepali migrant workers in Lebanon feel forgotten and left out

The Kathmandu Post, Lebanon, 7 September 2020 - Manju migrated to work as a housemaid in Lebanon in 2006. In the last 14 years, she managed to earn some money, build a house for the family in Morang and educate her two sons.

In April, she decided to return to Nepal for good. But the problem was that Nepal was under a complete lockdown and all flights were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“My family wanted me to come back home. So I had planned to return,” Manju told the Post over the phone from Beirut. “I was working in a bank. I had a visa till October, yet I decided to return home.”

Last month, after months of waiting for the flight service to resume, Manju bought a ticket for Nepal at USD 810 which was paid by her employer. After numerous cancellations of flights, her flight was scheduled for Sunday. But, once again, the flight got cancelled.

“We have been hit hard on many fronts. First, there was a shortage of US dollars, then came Covid-19 crisis, followed by a deadly blast in Beirut and now the Lebanese economy is taking a hit due to inflation. On top of that, we cannot go home,” said Manju, who is among several dozen Nepali migrant workers trying desperately to leave the troubled country. “A sack of 20-kg rice which we used to get at Lebanese pound (LBP) 50,000 now cost LBP 320,000. I am without jobs for months now. All the money I had saved is already exhausted. I can barely survive a few more days. How long can I wait?”



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