Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines

A total of 17 Filipino nationals who were ferried by PH Government-contracted buses from Khartoum to Port Sudan last week made their way to Jeddah, KSA, at 11:00 AM on 14 May 2023 via commercial airline Tarco Aviation, through the combined efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs - Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA), the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, KSA (Jeddah PCG) and the Philippine Embassy in Cairo, Egypt (Cairo PE).

Another 21 Filipino evacuees who were part of the same group from Khartoum landed in Jeddah at around 8:10 that evening. They proceeded directly to the King Abdulaziz International Airport for their onward flight to Manila via Saudia Airlines at around 4:50 AM on 15 May 2023, with ETA in Manila at around 20:45 PM of the same day.

A month after the clashes erupted in Khartoum, Sudan, the DFA continues to find ways to provide evacuation and other assistance to more than a hundred Filipino nationals still trapped in the conflict-ridden country. This latest batch of Filipino evacuees who arrived in Jeddah, KSA, via Tarco Aviation, include four senior citizens, three minor children (aged 3, 3, and 15), and one cancer patient who already missed her chemotherapy session and needs immediate medical intervention. Cairo PE arranged a bus to bring them to Port Sudan to wait for evacuation. Both Jeddah PCG and Cairo PE were in close coordination with these OFs from their departure in Khartoum until they arrived in Port Sudan last week. With the assistance of the Philippine Honorary Consul in Sudan, Mr. Tarek El-Nefeidi, and his contacts in Port Sudan, the OFs were able to buy basic food items and other needs while they were waiting to be evacuated.

Meanwhile, Jeddah PCG scouted different avenues to extract the OFs from Port Sudan and bring them home to their families in the Philippines. With the Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) Fund provided by the DFA and through the help of Tarco Aviation, Jeddah PCG was able to arrange the soonest available flights out of Port Sudan for the 38 OFs.

The first group of OFs who arrived on 14 May 2023 at the Jeddah North Terminal (Hajj Terminal) were welcomed by Philippine Consul General Edgar Tomas Q. Auxilian together with the officers and staff of Jeddah PCG’s ATN Section and the Migrant Workers Office-Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (MWO-OWWA) led by Labor Attaché Roel Martin and Assistant Labor Attaché Solaiman Mutia. Jeddah PCG’s ATN Section issued travel documents to the OFs who did not have their original passports. MWO-OWWA staff, on the other hand, provided cash assistance of USD200. After the meet and greet with Jeddah PCG, the OFs were transported by bus to King Abdulaziz International Airport for their connecting flight to Manila early morning of 15 May via Saudia Airlines.

The second group of 21 OFs arrived in Jeddah from Port Sudan on 14 May 2023 at around 8:10 in the evening and were also received by the Jeddah PCG team led by Consul Lemuel Lopez, who has been on standby to assist our OFs in case of any contingency.

As with the other OFs who were evacuated before them, Jeddah PCG commends these OFs who braved not only the hostilities but the uncertainties of travelling from Khartoum to Port Sudan to be able to reach Jeddah and eventually, home, the Philippines. They bring with them not just stories of war and horror but more importantly, of resilience, courage and bravery.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines.