Foreign Ministry submits list of citizens needing urgent evacuation

Kathmandu, June 8

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has prepared a list of 24,148 Nepalis across 30 different destinations who need to be rescued urgently.

The Foreign Ministry developed the priority list of stranded Nepalis abroad who need to be evacuated based on the statistics provided by Nepali embassies and missions abroad.

The ministry today submitted the report to the COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) based on which the government is expected to start rescuing the stranded people from June 10.

However, the list submitted by MoFA to CCMC does not include Nepalis stranded in India.

“Based on details presented by our missions abroad, 24,148 stranded Nepalis need to be evacuated in the first phase.

However, this number may change after we actually start rescuing Nepalis abroad as the coronavirus crisis is gradually easing across various nations,” said Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.

According to him, the government will soon start the rescue mission with due priority accorded to stranded Nepalis in labour destinations. “Nepalis across 30 different destinations require immediate rescue in the first phase and the government will start reaching out to our citizens in all these nations,” said Gyawali, adding, “However, more priority will be given to labour destinations as the density of Nepali people is higher there.”

The government plans to start evacuating stranded Nepalis from June 10 through at least eight flights per day. The government will be using eight aircraft of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Himalaya Airlines to rescue its citizens from abroad.

As per the report, Nepalis stranded in Bahrain, United Kingdom, United States of America, Israel, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Qatar, Morocco, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Pakistan, Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden), Oman, Kuwait, Cyprus, Maldives, Australia and United Arab Emirates need to be rescued in the first phase.

As per the report submitted by MoFA to CCMC, the highest number of stranded Nepalis that need to be rescued are from Malaysia (6,425) while lowest number that need to be evacuated are from Laos (two).

“The rescue mission will begin based on the priority list while others will be rescued gradually,” added Gyawali.

Though the government has allowed different countries to repatriate Nepalis stranded in their land, it has not begun the evacuation process on its own.

As many as 194 Nepalis from the United Arab Emirates and Myanmar had arrived home on Friday on flights operated by the governments of the respective countries.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 9, 2020, of The Himalayan Time