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Deceased Nigerians cremated in India as citizens knock govt’s evacuation plan

India may have stopped accepting dead bodies in their morgues following the panic and high death rate caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of accepting and keeping dead bodies in morgues, the Asian country, it was gathered has resorted to cremating them apparently as part of measures to check the spread.

A Nigerian, of Imo State origin who died there in the early hours of Tuesday was said to have been cremated (see video). The deceased’s case is said to be one of  many of such cases since the coronavirus challenge began.

As his remains were being taken to where they would be cremated, his kinsmen who followed those carrying him in a stretcher prayed for the repose of his soul.

“Rest in peace brother,” some of them said while some who believed that his death was not natural prayed that whoever was responsible for his demise would also not be spared.

The plight of the citizens have been blamed on the sluggishness of the Nigerian government in carrying out its plan to evacuate the citizens from different parts of the world, especially, countries that are badly hit by the Covid-19.

READ  Emirates Airline, Air Rwanda resume passenger flights to Nigeria 

The patron of the All India Nigerian Students and Community Association(AINSCA) Engineer James, while condemning the evacuation arrangement described the challenge posed by the pandemic as massive.

“The conditions given by the government are not good for  the beleaguered citizens. Many of the citizens planning to come home are drained financially. Many people have not earned a dime since this problem started because of the lockdown.

“One of our people died early Tuesday morning. His remains were rejected in all the mortuaries we  took him to. They cremated his remains the way they did to some others who died  earlier.

“We are grateful to the India Prime Minister for his efforts in containing the spread. We are also very grateful to the Nigerian  Ambassador here, Major General Chris Eze (Rtd)  and the president of our association for their efforts in making sure that Nigerians don’t lack food.”

President of Ohaneze Youth Council , Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, who is currently in India berated the government for compounding the woes of the citizens living abroad.

“The federal government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NIDCOM as a matter of urgency should review the conditions given to Nigerians willing to come back home and save the citizens from dying like fowls and their remains burnt like bush meat by the India authorities. The government’s position does not show any willingness to evacuate the citizens. They have been on this matter for the past four weeks and nothing tangible has been done not even in China where the citizens are daily exposed to all manner of brutality and inhuman treatment.  This is time for action and not talk show.

READ  Norway to take 600 migrants evacuated to Rwanda from Libya

“The government is asking the citizens to  pay for where they will be isolated but did they ask the Chinese doctors they imported into the country to pay for where they were isolated? It is unfortunate that they honour and respect foreigners more than they do for the citizens.”

Concerned by what the government has done with the donations it has received, Isiguzoro asked: “What exactly have they done with all the donations they have received from individuals, corporate bodies and international organisations when they cannot provide isolation centres that are critical to the management of the virus?
“The government’s action speaks volumes. It sends and dangerous signals to the citizens both at home and abroad that Nigeria is not a country that can be relied upon in times of crisis. Let the government wake up to its responsibilities before it’s too late.  They should bear in mind that Nigerians are watching and would ask them to account for every penny that they have received   to combat the pandemic.”

 

READ  EU approves Italian aid scheme to support economy in coronavirus outbreak

 

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Dominican Republic, IOM clear hurdles for 100,000 Venezuelan migrants

The Migration Normalization Plan will allow Venezuelans living irregularly in the Dominican Republic to work, move without risk of deportation, open bank accounts and join the country’s social security system.  Photo: IOM / Francesco Spotorno

 

 

Santo Domingo – The first group of almost 100,000 Venezuelan migrants without legal status in the Dominican Republic have received visas allowing them to work, open bank accounts and join the social security system under the country’s Migration Normalization Plan.

Created by the Dominican government and launched with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the plan aims to regularize the Venezuelan population in three stages: application for extension of stay, visa, and residency. Since April, when the first phase began, 43,000  Venezuelans have registered to extend their stay and, on 1 July, the first group of 21 Venezuelans received their work visa.

“Now that I have my visa, I feel that for others like me a lot of opportunities are opening. We will be able to establish more safely and formally to offer a better future to our children,” says Gabriela Rivero, who arrived in the country with her husband and daughter in 2018.  “Once we settled, we did not imagine how difficult it would be to get a job because the lack of documentation closed all doors.”

READ  IOM releases results of largest survey on drivers of migration in Bangladesh

Since 2019 Gabriela has led a support organization for Venezuelan migrants in Santiago de los Caballeros called FEV (Fundación Emigrantes de Venezuela), which offers free orientation and helps hundreds of migrants daily to complete their normalization plan applications.

With IOM support, eight Venezuelan migrant organizations have created orientation hubs to assist the Venezuelan population who are applying to the plan. Of the 43,000  registered through the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) web page, around 9,000 have visited the hubs for help on the procedure. The promoters and coordinators of each hub – mostly Venezuelan migrants – have learned the process with the support and guidance of the DGM team and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX). Besides being trained for orientation, they became the pilot group of the plan to receive their extensions and visas.

“The idea of this process is that we are the ones at the front of the hubs, a migrant helping a migrant, a Venezuelan helping a Venezuelan,” says Iván Carrera, a lawyer from Caracas and legal adviser of FUNCOVERD (Fundación Colonia de Venezolanos en RD). Carrera works as a promoter at the orientation hub in El Sambil Santo Domingo, one of the locations with the most people requesting support for their application.

READ  Norway to take 600 migrants evacuated to Rwanda from Libya

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  Emirates Airline, Air Rwanda resume passenger flights to Nigeria 

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

READ  International Migrants Day 2020: the role of data in the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants

“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  Emirates Airline, Air Rwanda resume passenger flights to Nigeria 

 

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