Nepal | October 23, 2020

United Arab Emirates seeks permission to repatriate Nepali migrants

Umesh Poudel
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Government does not have the capacity to manage all Nepalis coming from abroad: Foreign Minister Gyawali

Kathmandu, May 11

It appears that since the Nepal government has literally shown no interest in bringing back its citizens who are in distress abroad, the governments of destinations where Nepali migrants are working have started taking the initiative to repatriate such workers.

For instance, the United Arab Emirates has sent a letter to the government seeking permission to repatriate Nepali migrant workers in two wide-body planes.

Speaking at a meeting of the Committee for Monitoring and Evaluation of Implementation of Directive Principles, Policies and Responsibilities of the State under the Federal Parliament today, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said the government had received such a letter from the UAE government.

“We cannot bring back the workers from the UAE unless we have made necessary preparations, such as setting up enough quarantine facilities.”

He added that the UAE government has proposed to bear all the travel expenses, including travel ticket and accommodation during the flight.

According to Gyawali, 210,871 Nepali migrants from labour destinations have to be repatriated immediately, including from the Gulf Cooperation Council nations and Malaysia.

According to data collected from embassies and missions abroad, Non-Resident Nepali Association and other institutions, 325,530 Nepalis from countries other than India want to return home. About 2.5 million Nepalis from India also want to return home.

“Preparations are underway to bring home those who are really in crisis and manage them,” the minister mentioned.

The number of people arriving at Nepal’s border points will further increase after India starts operating its railway service from Tuesday, added Gyawali. “This will definitely change our current position and we will have to make more preparations to accommodate all our migrant workers who return,” he said.

“The government does not have the capacity to manage all Nepalis coming from abroad,” he said.

Gyawali said the Ministry of Home Affairs was making preparations to manage Nepalis who were stranded at the border points. “This issue will be resolved within the next few days,” he said.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 12, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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