Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia repatriates 12,798 expats through Awdah initiative

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Saudi Arabia has repatriated 12,798 expatriates who wished to return to their home countries as part of its Awdah (Return) initiative after the coronavirus pandemic forced airports around the world to suspend flights, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

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Awdah, which means return in Arabic, is an initiative launched by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at helping residents in Saudi Arabia travel to their country of origin despite the suspension of flights around the world.

A total of 178, 452 people have registered to be a part of the Awdah initiative from the period between April 22 to June 3, according to SPA.

Also read: Saudi nationals keen on travel as coronavirus restrictions are eased: Survey

This includes residents who hold exit and re-entry visas, final exit visas, and those on visit visas.

Residents in the country can register to be repatriated can do so through the Absher platform by providing their residency number, date of birth, mobile number, city of departure, and the name of the airport in their home country, according to SPA.

The foreign ministry is working alongside the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, the General Authority of Civil Aviation, as well as several other government agencies to facilitate the return of residents to their home countries.

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