Foreign Minister Gustavo Meza-Cuadra reported that since March 17, when the country’s borders were closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (covid-19), more than 13,000 Peruvians from 26 countries abroad have been repatriated.
During his participation in the virtual session of the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee, Minister Meza-Cuadra said that since the beginning of the national emergency caused by covid-19, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has taken various measures to identify Peruvians stranded abroad, providing them with assistance and guaranteeing their return.
“From March 17 to date, more than 13,000 Peruvians from 26 countries have been repatriated. Of this amount, more than 5,500 were in the United States, of which 1,800 were young people from the Work and Travel program; another 6,500 from Latin countries and the rest from countries mainly in Europe and Oceania,” he said.
In this sense, the foreign minister said that this repatriation was carried out thanks to State flights from countries in the United States, South America and Europe, which picked up 33,000 Peruvian nationals who remained in Peru as tourists.
He also said that in view of the closure of borders and the Jorge Chávez international airport, a first transfer of 12.9 million soles was made, which have already been executed, to support Peruvians stranded abroad. A second transfer of 7 million soles was also made and is still being executed.
In view of the culmination of state flights from other countries, he said that charter flights financed by Peru and returning Peruvians are being evaluated, as well as joint flights with other nations that have compatriots abroad.
“The repatriation efforts will be more focused on cities where there are more compatriots, for example, there are cases such as the cities of Miami, Australia and South Africa where it is complex to return,” he added.
At another time, Meza-Cuadra said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a virtual registry of Peruvians who want to return to Peru and so far, he said, there are a total of 10,000 registered. In addition, 82 Peruvians abroad have died from the disease, he added.
“This registration has been growing as the state of emergency has been extended. In the last few weeks it has increased due to the situation that our compatriots have been going through in the countries where they are, so the number of stranded people has been increased by groups of fellow countrymen who were in an irregular situation or who no longer have an income to support themselves,” he said.
On the other hand, the foreign minister said that in the case of international cooperation, both public and private, his ministry is oriented to seek and attract the greatest amount of donations of medical supplies, technical and financial assistance that so far reaches 42.7 million dollars.
“As a result of a coordinated effort with the Ministry of Health, Peru Procurement and the National Institute of Health, we worked with our missions abroad, especially in China, to coordinate the arrival of donated material to the health sector and others aimed at recipient entities,” he said.
Thanks to them, he added, in the coming weeks they will receive donations to serve the regions of Tumbes, Piura, Cajamarca, Amazonas and Loreto; as well as others for Cusco, Lima, Apurimac, Lambayeque and Ancash.
Finally, he added that as part of the multilateralism policy promoted by the Government, our country is promoting that the future vaccine against the coronavirus (covid-19) be considered as a good for all humanity and not only for those countries that can afford it.