Coronavirus | Govt to focus on 6 Middle East nations that account for 70% NRIs: Report
The government's focus is likely to be on six Middle East nations -- United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain -- that are home to over 70 percent of the Indians living abroad
April 27, 2020 / 07:01 PM IST
With international travel suspended due to the lockdown imposed in light of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, many Indians have been stranded abroad. The government's focus is likely to be on six Middle East nations -- United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain -- that are home to over 70 percent of the Indians living abroad, the Hindustan Times reported.
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The Ministry of External Affairs' (MEA) data on overseas Indians suggests that there are 12.6 million non-resident Indians (NRIs) residing across 200 countries, of which 8.9 million live in the aforementioned six countries. UAE accounts for nearly 3.6 million NRIs across the globe, while another 2.6 million are in Saudi Arabia. The remaining four Middle East nations house 2.9 million NRIs.
Even as those stranded across various countries have been asked to stay put by the government, many people, from students to working professionals, want to return home.
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The report noted that many students have cited shutting down of hostels resulting in problems related to food and accommodation as the reason for seeking repatriation. Meanwhile, many others living abroad have also lost their jobs amid the ongoing crisis that has had an unprecedented economic fallout globally. It also highlighted that around 2,500 Indians had, by the third week of April, already approached Indian missions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai alone to seek help to return home.Follow our full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here