74 Filipino evacuees from conflict-hit Sudan are back in PH
MANILA, Philippines — Seventy-four Filipino evacuees from strife-torn Sudan made it back to the Philippines on Thursday, May 4, said the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
The DMW said Saudia flight SV862, carrying 44 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), seven students, 17 children, and six infants, left Riyadh and arrived in Manila at around 1:40 p.m.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Arnell Ignacio joined the group whose repatriation was arranged amid raging clashes in Sudan, which erupted weeks ago due to a power struggle between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
The Philippine government will be providing the OFWs, who were assisted out of Sudan, with P50,000 immediate financial assistance and another P50,000 for their families.
“They filled out skills and needs inventory sheet where they identified their specific needs for assistance, including reintegration and redeployment options,” DMW told reporters in a message.
DMW Undersecretary Bernard Olalia and Senator Raffy Tulfo, head of the upper chamber’s migrant workers panel, welcomed the repatriates upon their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Terminal 1.
According to Sudan’s Health Ministry, 550 people have died and 4,926 injured from the unrelenting fighting in the African country.
South Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said the warring factions have since agreed to extend their initial 72-hour ceasefire further.
It, however, remains unclear whether it will hold as truce violations had been reported in previous ceasefires despite the supposed suspension in fighting.