Sri Lanka Missions in the Middle East have reported that the welfare measures for migrant workers in the Middle East have received an added boost this week, following the decision by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) to make available resources from the Workers’ Welfare Fund, originally confined to those registered with the Bureau, to all migrant workers irrespective of their registration status, through units within Sri Lanka Missions abroad in 16 stations. This is in addition to funds already allocated by the Foreign Ministry and services provided by Missions in collaboration with local Sri Lankan associations and religious establishments across the world in 67 cities. The Foreign Ministry has also sought an additional allocation from the Treasury to meet the increasing needs of all Overseas Sri Lankans, presently amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, to increase the efforts of distribution of dry rations. This is to help overcome immediate difficulties experienced by the migrants who are unable to return to Sri Lanka, in view of the present closure of the airports in Sri Lanka for arrival, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations is pleased to inform the Sri Lankan Community in the tri-State area that the Government of Sri Lanka has announced the relaxation of foreign exchange restrictions with regard to the opening of Special Deposit Account (SDA) in Sri Lankan banks.
As such, all interested Sri Lankans , including dual citizens and well wishers can accordingly instruct their foreign banks to transfer funds to the Sri Lanka bank of their preference to open a Special Deposit Account (SDA).
Sri Lankans who wish to express their solidarity to sustain Sri Lanka's resilience are invited to avail themselves of this opportunity in support of COVID-19 prevention.
Salient features of the Special Deposit Account and the gazette notification issued by the Government of Sri Lanka in this regard, are also attached.
We hope that you and your families remain safe and well during these trying times.
Minister of Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, Dinesh Gunawardena met with the Secretaries and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), today (10 April 2020), at the Ministry of Foreign Relations, to discuss ramifications emanating from the present Coronavirus pandemic to Sri Lankan migrant workers abroad and to explore possible mechanisms to assist these Sri Lankans.