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80 Nepalis languish in Lebanon

Devendra Bhattarai

NEW DELHI, APR 02 - Eighty Nepalis who had arrived in Lebanon through illegal channels for employment have sought help from the Nepali embassy in Egypt for their return home.

Officials of the Nepali embassy in Egypt, which also looks after the diplomatic affairs in Lebanon , said the undocumented Nepali migrants came into the contact of the mission’s office in Beirut after the Lebanese government announced amnesty for illegal migrants.

The embassy has already provided travel documents to 45 Nepalis, but they do not have the money to buy flight tickets. Kaushalkishor Raya, the acting ambassador to Egypt said they are currently taking shelter at an immigration facility while the embassy has written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to arrange tickets for them. Raya also informed the Post that the embassy was also preparing to provide travel documents to 35 other Nepali migrants who had been living in Lebanon illegally. 

Dilli Poudel of Non Resident Nepali Association in Lebanon said there are around 8,000 Nepali migrants in Lebanon ; most of them are women working as housemaids. Among them, around 700 are said to be residing and working in Lebanon without the government permit. Poudel said most of the undocumented Nepali migrants living in Lebanon had entered the country through India. He added the arrival of Nepali citizens to Lebanon continued even after the government of Nepal barred its citizens from going to the country for employment. 

In 2006, nearly 1,000 Nepali workers were rescued from Lebanon after the war intensified between Israeli force and Lebanese militants.

Published:-  2 April 2014. The Kathmandu Post.