Americans Stuck In Yemen Seek Desperate Repatriation

July 4, 2020

It is not just Yemeni people that are on the receiving end of the decade long civil war and pandemic led lockdown. American civilians are said to be stranded in the war torn country that is rocked by the worst humanitarian crises in the history of mankind.

Since borders were shut down in March, Americans stuck in Yemen have not been evacuated according to Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR. Since then, the organization confirms that they have received more than 500 requests of assistance from Americans stuck in Yemen. The State Department has received over 2000 such requests.

While the State Department has sent private jets to evacuate people from Yemen, it has not been able to airlift everyone. Two scheduled flights brought home approximately 300 Americans, on June 28 and July first.

Yemen has the worst medical services at its disposal. With humanitarian aid trickling, there are chances that most Americans stuck there might already be infected with Covid-19. The level of sanitation and overall management of the social distancing protocols has been dismissible in Yemen. This is largely due to the fact that most of the population is living in sheds or refugee camps and does not have access to clean food or drinking water.

Many families have relatives living in Yemen. Many were visiting families in January and by the time March came, borders were closed and many have therefore been stranded in Yemen.Amongst the stranded includes 27 children.

With the American Embassy in Sana’a being closed in early 2015, there is very slow redressal for the American stranded in Yemen. Most other embassies in Yemen are also shut down. For years the U.S. has warned against travel to the country because of terrorism, kidnap risk and landmines. But many Americans have continued to brave the threats and visit their loved ones back in Yemen.
Those transported back have had active passports and had to pay $1500 per person.

As of now, all those Americans whose passports have expired over the period of stay in Yemen will have to travel to the nearest country to get their papers in order; else their chances of returning back to America look bleak at the moment.

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