Egypt’s Minister of Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs Nabila Makram said Egypt repatriated over 77,000 nationals who were stranded abroad when air traffic was suspended owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing a virtual meeting at the Narrative Summit on Wednesday, Makram said the ministry received appeals from Egyptians working in the Gulf who were on vacation in Egypt, or from Egyptians abroad who were on tourist visits, working, or studying.
Season three of the Narrative Summit’s digital talks, entitled "Reshaping Norms", kicked off in late April. The summit gathers different experts, industry leaders, and decision-makers to tackle the global and local effects of the COVID-19 crisis that has ushered in a new reality across different sectors.
The immigration and planning ministries developed a plan to integrate Egyptian returnees into the country's labour market, Makram said.
“The ministry collected the data of repatriates through forms they filled on their flights back home and during their stay in quarantine centres,” Makram added.
The minister noted that the data was analysed and their results were distributed to the ministries of commerce, industry, and local development, so that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) can put forward the available projects in each governorate, while clarifying the possibilities of obtaining loans to implement such projects.
Makram said national projects and businessmen are in need of specialised labour and that the labour force returning from abroad is key to achieve Egypt's 2030 Agenda.
"Egyptian expatriates presented a positive image through their eagerness to participate in both the presidential elections and the referendum on the constitutional amendments in 2019," she pointed out.
Makram said she appreciates the Egyptian expats' efforts and peaceful rallies in the US, Germany, and other European countries, in which they called for the protection of Egypt's rights to Nile water.
The ministry produced a multilingual film highlighting Egypt's historic right to Nile waters and distributed it on embassies and consulates, she added.