According to the State Department, as of April 24, 2020, 3:00 p.m. EDT, it has coordinated the repatriation of 67,448 Americans on 716 flights from 124 countries and territories. Below are some photos from some foreign service posts who did repatriation flights in April (not an exhaustive list).
During the April 22 briefing, agency officials note that they’re “tracking something like 17,000 people who have expressed some degree of interest in maybe getting our help” but also said that the number in the thousands is “not all that meaningful” as “there are others who have been registered by, for example, their children in the United States saying, “My aging parents are in country X,” Peru or wherever, “and they should be getting out of there,” and in fact those aging parents have no particular interest or desire to leave.”
We helped over 1,450 #USCitizens and LPRs leave #Islamabad this week to reunite with their loved ones in the United States. Thanks to the Pakistani authorities for facilitating the flights. #RamazanMubarak #AmericansHome #coronavirus #COVID pic.twitter.com/m6dLmTsOij
— U.S. Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) April 26, 2020
This week @usconsulatekhi sent over 700 #USCitizens and LPRs home in time for many to spend #Ramzan with their families. #Coronavirus left many stranded, but we’re working hard to make these reunions happen. (1/2)#RamzanMubarak #AmericansHome pic.twitter.com/lFbi6MHUKY
— US Consulate Karachi (@usconsulatekhi) April 26, 2020
Over the last few weeks, U.S. Consulate General Mumbai has arranged special international flights to send many stranded #AmericansHome to their loved ones. For more about our ongoing repatriation efforts, visit https://t.co/12BRrKmKvz #WeAreStateDept pic.twitter.com/MVt5uJD690
— US Consulate Mumbai (@USAndMumbai) April 26, 2020
So grateful to our diplomats in New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, who are working around the clock to provide humanitarian services to U.S. citizens in India. I am honored to be part of a dedicated team that continues to bring #AmericansHome. pic.twitter.com/dNQK5KZOKd
— Ken Juster (@USAmbIndia) April 20, 2020
In close coordination with the Honduran government and U.S. commercial airlines, through flights like today's from @SpiritAirlines, @usembassyhn has facilitated the return of 6000+ U.S. citizens.
If you are a U.S. citizen, please email us at USAHonduras@state.gov for assistance. pic.twitter.com/MafLVoPtQ3
— U.S. Embassy Honduras (@usembassyhn) April 18, 2020
@USEmbassyTirana is pleased to have assisted another 37 US citizens and residents go home this morning, including a group of Americans teaching in Durrës. Grazie mille, faleminderit shumë to friends at @ItalyinALB, @airalbania1 & @TiranaAirport for help getting #AmericansHome! pic.twitter.com/Qe1CKyS5tr
— Ambassador Yuri Kim (@USAmbAlbania) April 18, 2020
Ambassador Miller & Foreign Secretary Momen saw off a 3rd group of American citizens today. On this eve of Bengali New Year, we’re thankful for the enduring cooperation, people-to-people ties, and friendship between the #USA & #BD. A safe and healthy new year to all. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/oUCGMtnx3H
— U.S. Embassy Dhaka (@usembassydhaka) April 13, 2020
Proud to do our part to bring more than 250 #Americanshome from southern Africa on one flight, leaving King Mswati III Intl Airport, today. Huge thanks to @Eswatinigovern1, @USEmbassySA, @USConsulateCT, @USEmbassyBW, @USEmbassyMaseru for helping to make it happen. pic.twitter.com/KuBswVK6DG
— U.S. Embassy Eswatini (@USEmbEswatini) April 10, 2020
US Consulate General #Casablanca organized another evacuation flight from #Morocco today with +200 passengers, part of @StateDept effort to bring #AmericansHome. 🇺🇸 Thank you to the Moroccan Government 🇲🇦 and @British_Airways for helping us secure 10 flights for 1,500 Americans! pic.twitter.com/mXNGiz73iy
— U.S. Embassy Morocco (@USEmbMorocco) April 10, 2020
#AllTogether with the help of many friends, we organized a flight from 🇲🇪 for 26 U.S. citizens & residents to 🇬🇧, for onward flights home to 🇺🇸.
— US Embassy Podgorica (@USEmbassyMNE) April 9, 2020
To the 267 American citizens and residents who departed #Myanmar on a U.S. govt-organized flight today, we wish you a safe & healthy return home. Thank you to the Myanmar authorities for facilitating the flight. #AmericansHome (1/3) pic.twitter.com/9CRWT1lPIk
— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) April 6, 2020
USEmbassyMaputo was proud to play our part on March 30 to get 168 #AmericansHome safely on a special commercial flight from Maputo. We strongly encourage any U.S. citizens still in #Mozambique to register at https://t.co/PWdusTewGX for Embassy updates. pic.twitter.com/lGRa5nLyJ4
— U.S. Embassy Maputo (@USEmbassyMaputo) April 2, 2020
According to the Department of State, as of April 5 2020, 3:30 p.m. EDT, it has coordinated the repatriation of 43,116 Americans from 78 countries since January 29, 2020. The agency’s repatriation page including countries, the number of Americans repatriated and number of flights are available here. Based on its data, we have put together the top 10 countries by number of American citizens repatriated, and added the regional bureaus for each country.
The top seven countries by repatriation numbers are located in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA), followed by two countries in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), and Ghana from the Bureau of African Affairs (AF). Full list of countries and evacuees are available here.
Via April 3 Briefing, on Peru, and the State Department “looking at about 22,000 overseas still” from SCA and WHA.
QUESTION: Great. I was hoping you could give a little bit more clarification on the situation in Peru. I thought I heard you say that the last flight out would be on Monday but that you were going to continue to try to make arrangements for charter flights. So I was wondering if you could expand on that a little bit. And also, if you are aware of any countries where the last flights out are looming. Thank you.
MR BROWNLEE: Yeah, thank you, Carol. The situation in Peru is this. We had a hiatus yesterday, April 2nd. We had – were a number of flights up through April 1st. We had a hiatus yesterday. Flights resume today, April 3rd. We have several coming out today. We will have several running through the weekend and through Monday. We are talking to the Peruvian Government about getting permissions for subsequent flights if needed. And that’s an important caveat at this point, because we are finding that demand particularly in Peru seems to be fluctuating. I’ve mentioned to you guys before that we’ve had people show up at the airport literally with suitcases in hand and then decide to stay. As we put out calls saying is anybody else out there, we find new people coming in even now saying, “Well, yeah, I thought I’d bring myself forward.” It remains a somewhat dynamic number as to how many want to come out of Peru, and if need be, we will continue.
We are also – and Hugo might be able to shed more light on this – we are talking to the commercial carriers about resuming direct bill operations into Peru in lieu of the State Department chartered flights. The bottom line: Got flights through Monday, talking about more, we might want to – we might go the commercial option. Hugo, do you want to say anything on that score?
MR YON: Absolutely. This is Hugo. Yes, in Peru that is correct. It is actually the Peruvian Government has – after we’ve done a number of these charter flights from the State Department, the Peruvian government has softened and are willing to let some limited commercial rescue flights go in, so we are in discussions actively now with our U.S. airlines to provide that lift in future days.
Let me also just give the number that Matt had asked about in terms of the commercial rescue flights, how many number. The number we’ve gotten from our airlines collectively is 166 flights that carried the over 17,000, and each day that does grow – 166 flights. Over.
QUESTION: Hey, thanks for doing this. Just a couple quick questions. First of all, Ian, when you say that you weren’t tracking the flight from Russia, that’s because it was a commercial flight, correct? And are you now going to have to start looking into different options to get Americans out?
Do you have an update to the total number of Americans still overseas who are asking for help, and then specifically on Peru, there are a lot of Americans in remote areas. Are you still doing busing or other ways of getting them to Lima or Cusco to get them out, and are you considering outside contractors to do some of that work, like Warrior Angel Rescue.
MR BROWNLEE: Sure. Let me go back to the Russia question. You’re absolutely correct, we were not tracking – I was not tracking that flight, but I’ve received an email since I was asked that question saying yes, it was a commercial plane. We don’t know – at this point know why it was literally on the tarmac taxiing when it was denied permission to take off. We don’t know why that would be. The Russian Government apparently denied it permission to take off. We will look at other options for helping U.S. citizens return from Russia now that that last commercial flight has been pulled down.
The total number we’re looking at overseas at this point is – and bear with me a moment – we are tracking approximately – we’re looking at about 22,000 overseas still. The greatest number of those – certainly the plurality of those – are in South and Central Asia, many of them in India. We’re also looking at a large number of people still in the Western Hemisphere – in WHA – and Africa. It’s really those three regions are the bulk of people who are overseas, but the total number we’re tracking is about 22,000.
In – with regard to Peru, yes, we’re still running what we call sweeper operations to bring people in from remote areas. In some cases this is by bus, in some cases we’re using the INL, the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement plane. It’s a 15-passenger plane, so we’ve sent that out to a number of remote areas to bring people into Lima for repatriation. Other people are being brought in, as you say, by NGOs such as Angel Warrior. But we’re running a pretty effective operation, I think, pulling people out of the remoter areas. Over.
Remember in 2017 when Trump announced new security measures that establish minimum requirements for international cooperation to support U.S. visa and immigration vetting and new visa restrictions for eight countries? One of those eight countries was Chad. BuzzFeed reported at that time: ” Experts from the State Department to humanitarian organizations were stunned when the Chad was added to the travel ban in late September. The country is home to a US military facility and just hosted an annual 20-nation military exercise with the US military’s Africa Command to strengthen local forces to fight extremist insurgents. Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, is the headquarters of the five-country Multinational Joint Task Force battling Boko Haram.”
In response to travel ban, Chad withdrew hundreds of troops from neighboring Niger, where up to 2,000 of its soldiers were part of a coalition battling Boko Haram. See Avoidable Mess: U.S. to Help Chad After “Important Partner” Withdraws Troops From Niger Following Visa Sanctions.
At that time, we also wrote that “the USG’s action telegraphed careless disregard of the relationship, and Chad most likely, will not forget this easily. “Remember that time when the U.S. put Chad on the visa sanctions list while we have 2,000 soldiers fighting in Niger?” Yep, they’ll remember.”
Maybe this is just coincidence, but here we are:
On March 26, 2020, the US Embassy in Ndjamena, Chad announced that the U.S. Embassy “received information on a possible flight that could leave as early as tomorrow” and that “the flight will be making other stops in Africa before going to Washington, DC.”
On March 27, Embassy Ndjamena announced that “There will not be a flight leaving Chad tomorrow, Friday March 27. We have no further information on when a flight will be available, but efforts continue.”
Later on March 27, Embassy Ndjamena announced that the U.S. Embassy “was informed that there will be a flight on Sunday for U.S. citizens to depart Chad. The Embassy has also been informed that there will be a very limited number of seats available, with limited luggage, and no pets. We have no information about any other future flights.”
Update #4 on March 27 notes that “The U.S. Embassy manifested a limited number of passengers for the flight on Sunday. Unfortunately, if you did not receive an email stating that you had been manifested, there were not enough seats to allocate one for you.”
By March 27, that flight was off again, and the embassy announced that “The U.S. Embassy regrets to inform U.S. citizens that Sunday’s flight has been cancelled because the Chad MFA denied the request for flight clearance.”
On March 29, Embassy Ndjamena said “There are no updates to report on flights to depart Chad.”
On March 30, the announcement said, “There are no updates to report on flights to depart Chad.”
On March 30, update #6 said, “There are no updates to report on flights to depart Chad, although efforts continue.”
On March 31, the statement remains “There are no updates to report on flights to depart Chad, although efforts continue.”
On March 31, update #7 said: There are now 7 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chad. There are no updates to report on flights to depart Chad, although efforts continue.”
As of this writing, the latest update posted online is dated March 31, 2020, 11:00 WAT: ” There are now 7 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chad. There are no updates to report on flights to depart Chad, although efforts continue.
Chad is a Level 3 Reconsider Travel country since October 2019 “due to crime, terrorism, and minefields.” The advisory also notes that “The U.S. Government has extremely limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Chad as U.S. Government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside of the capital, including the Lake Chad Basin.”
Below via Diplomatic Security’s 2020 Safety and Security Report for Chad:
The U.S. Department of State has assessed N’Djaména as being a HIGH-threat location for terrorism directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. The potential exists for terrorist activity throughout Chad. Violent extremist organizations (e.g. Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa, ISIS-Libya, and al-Qa’ida-affiliated groups) can easily cross borders and target Westerners, local security forces, and civilians in the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel.
The U.S. Department of State has assessed N’Djaména as being a HIGH-threat location for political violence directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. Chad’s recent history is one of political tensions, rebellions, and coup attempts. The current Chadian government has a strong executive branch, headed by President Idriss Déby Itno and dominated by his Zaghawa ethnic group, which controls the political landscape.
Border security remains elevated. Chad’s borders with Libya and Sudan are generally off-limits without specific permission from the Government of Chad. The Chad-Libya border is an active conflict zone. New mines may have been laid in secondary roads in 2019, and unexploded ordnance (UXO) remains from the Chad-Libya conflict.
Medical care is limited within N’Djaména, and difficult to find outside of major cities. Chad has limited and extremely expensive public ambulance services. In case of emergency, consider transporting the patient with private vehicles.
The Chadian government and people are generally friendly towards U.S. citizens, but violent extremist groups in the Lake Chad region and the Sahel have expressed or signaled their intention to target Westerners.
As far as we are aware, US Embassy Ndjamena is not on any type of evacuation status (with the exception of the Global Authorized Departure issued on March 14). But even if it were to go on ordered departure now, the flights are not going anywhere.
- Alert: Update #7 – 2 new cases, no flight update (31 March, 2020)
- Alert: Update #7 – 2 new cases, total now 7, no flight updates (31 March, 2020)
- Alert: Departure Information Update #6 – no flight updates (31 March, 2020)
- Alert: Departure Information Update #6 (30 March, 2020)
- Message to U.S. Citizens (March 30, 2020) (30 March, 2020)
- Alert – U.S. Embassy, N’Djamena, Chad – No update on flight status (29 March, 2020)
- Alert: Updated Departure Information #5 – Sunday’s Flight Cancelled (27 March, 2020)
- Alert: Updated Departure Information #4 (27 March, 2020)
- Updated Departure Information #3 – Flight on Sunday, very few seats (27 March, 2020)
- Alert: Updated Departure Information #2 (26 March, 2020)
- Alert: READ CAREFULLY – UPDATED DEPARTURE INFORMATION #1 (26 March, 2020)
- Alert – U.S. Embassy N’Djamena, Chad: Updates on Departures From Chad (25 March, 2020)
- Avoidable Mess: U.S. to Help Chad After “Important Partner” Withdraws Troops From Niger Following Visa Sanctions Oct 2017
- @StateDept Dedicates New $225M U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena, Chad Oct 2017
- Trump Announces New Visa Restrictions For Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia Sept 2017
- @StateDept Terminates US Embassy Chad’s Authorized Departure Status Nov 2015
- US Embassy N’Djamena: Travel Restrictions and Security Review in Chad Jul 2015
- US Embassy N’Djamena Imposes Travel Restrictions on Embassy Staff After Suicide Bombings in Chad June 2015
- US Embassy Chad Imposes Curfew, Limits Travel For All USG Personnel in N’Djamena June 2014
- The U.S. Department of State has coordinated the repatriation of 15,441 U.S. citizens from more than 40 countries.
- On March 26, a charter flight repatriated 223 U.S. Citizens from Jordan.
- Over the past few days, 1,259 U.S. Citizens were repatriated from Peru.
- On March 26, 129 U.S. Citizens were repatriated from Guayaquil; a total of 723 U.S. Citizens repatriated from Ecuador to date.
- The Department has negotiated and continues to negotiate with more than 33 governments to permit commercial or U.S.-organized repatriation flights.
- In order to communicate vital and timely health information to Americans abroad, the Department of State’s call center has fielded more than 11,000 calls since March 21.
Second columns indicates the number of citizen repatriated, and the third column is the number of flights to-date. Click here to see complete lis.
Updated: March 28, 9:45 am PDT
A Health Alert from US Embassy Lima in Peru notes that post is continuing its operations and is “coordinating with the Peruvian Government to arrange repatriation flights over the next few days for U.S. citizens to return to the United States.”
Post’s Alert issued on Tuesday said that “As of March 24, approximately 700 Americans have departed Peru on repatriation flights. It also announced the departure from post of Ambassador Urs, and the travel to Peru of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung “to support our aggressive repatriation efforts.”
“For medical reasons, Ambassador Krishna Urs departed Peru on March 20. He continues to engage from Washington with senior Peruvian officials as well as to support the Department’s efforts on behalf of the United States.”
As of 5:00PM on March 25, post said it has repatriated over 1000 Americans from Peru.
In video below released by Embassy Lima, the Chargé d’Affaires Denison K. Offutt says that there are currently over 5,000 Americans in Peru. We don’t know if all of them are asking to return to the United States, but if so, this would be one of the largest evacuations of U.S. citizens from overseas at this time. This is not as huge as the nearly 15,000 evacuation from Lebanon in 2006 but the logistics of moving a large number of people to the United States with border closures and limited air traffic during a pandemic will be extraordinarily challenging.
According to Embassy Lima, the Peruvian government declared a national state of emergency on March 15, 2020, at 8:00 PM Peru local time. Under the state of emergency, Peru enacted 15 days of mandatory quarantine, starting at 00:00 on March 16, 2020. At 23:59 PM on March 16, 2020, the Peruvian Government closed all international borders (land, air, and maritime) and suspended all interprovincial travel within Peru (land, air, and river).
Update from post indicates unusual difficulties with host country in obtaining permission for these repatriation flights . First, the Government of Peru told Ambassador Urs on March 23 that it had authorized repatriation flights, only for the contracted airline to notify the embassy at night that the flights are not approved. The following day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to US Embassy Lima that no U.S. flights had been approved. Ambassador Urs then spoke to the Peruvian Foreign Minister at 6:45 a.m., during which time, he was reportedly assured that the permissions would be granted in time. The Peruvian government ultimately declined to provide the proper clearances for a LATAM flight to pick up Americans stranded in Cusco. A charter flight operated by American Airlines departed Miami with a scheduled arrival at 12:30 p.m. Embassy Lima said that the Peruvian government also declined to approve permits for the charter flight, so the pilot returned the airplane to Miami.
Something’s going on there, hey?
During the March 25 Special Briefing, CA PDAS Ian Brownlee called the logjam “a capacity issue on the part of the Peruvian Government” and that the “information didn’t efficiently trickle down to the people in the regulatory agencies that had to issue the permits, the landing permits for the planes.”
Embassy Lima’s update on March 25 said that there were two flights scheduled today, but these are “booked with humanitarian priority individuals, including older adults, people with underlying health conditions, minors traveling without a parent or legal guardian, and other adults in need of medical assistance.” Also that “the U.S. Embassy is scheduling additional flights for this week pending Peruvian government authorization.” As of March 25, Embassy Lima was able to get its first flight from Cusco to Miami (via Lima) and is reportedly scheduling a flight from Iquitos to Miami. So that’s good news.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne confirmed that Canada received the go-ahead for 3 Air Canada flights to bring stranded Canadians home from Peru this week.
On March 21, Politico reported that a U.S. official familiar with the situation said the Peruvian government is not allowing Americans stuck in Peru to leave until the White House ensures thousands of Peruvians are given safe passage home.[…] “The government of Peru is basically holding these Americans hostage,” the U.S. official said. “They want the U.S. to fill planes with Peruvians before they’ll let the planes land to pick up Americans. But they’re not ready or organized in the United States to gather their people up, and they don’t want to pay for the flight.“
Could Peru wait this out or slow this down as Americans stuck in Peru fumes louder, and clogs congressional offices with complaints? Already Senator Rubio (R-
Texas FL) has publicly scolded the State Department for Americans stuck in Peru “due to lack or (sic) urgency by some in mid-level of @StateDept.”
Except that Peru apparently wants something from the White House not the State Department.
March 25 DOS Special Briefing with CA PDAS Ian Brownlee called the logjam in Peru a “capacity issue:”
The logjam there was a capacity issue on the part of the Peruvian Government. To reduce this to simplicity, we had commitment from the senior-most levels of the government – from the foreign minister, et cetera, the ministerial level – that yes, the flight yesterday Monday would be able to go forward – flights yesterday Monday would be able to go forward. That information didn’t efficiently trickle down to the people in the regulatory agencies that had to issue the permits, the landing permits for the planes, and so the American Airlines flight that was going into Lima literally turned around as it was preparing to enter Peruvian airspace because it didn’t have the permit necessary.
The difficulty arises there from the fact that there was some infections in the civil aviation authority and in the civilian side of the airport, and they just shut down that entire entity and they’re trying to run it on a bit of a shoestring from the military side of the airport. We’re helping them address this shortfall by – we’ve taken the INL, the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement hangar on the military side of the airport, taken everything out of it. We’re arranging chairs in there at socially distant appropriate spacing and we’re preparing to use that as a working space, a processing space to move people through. We’re also preparing to send down a flyaway team of consular officers and we have a senior officer from the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs going down to assist as well. So we’re doing what we can to help the Peruvians fill that sort of capacity gap, and we hope – we hope – that this will keep things moving more fluidly in the future. Out.
— Embajada EEUU Perú (@USEMBASSYPERU) March 23, 2020
Today close to 300 more U.S. citizens departed Peru on two flights from Lima and Cusco. We have now repatriated close to 1,000 U.S. citizens. We know we are not finished and we will continue our efforts until we repatriate all U.S. citizens seeking to return home. pic.twitter.com/MRldlOHWUn
— Embajada EEUU Perú (@USEMBASSYPERU) March 25, 2020
All of our energy is focused on getting American citizens back safely to the U.S.
So far today an additional 106 citizens departed, bringing the total to over 600. pic.twitter.com/l6DZGIWYDs
— Embajada EEUU Perú (@USEMBASSYPERU) March 23, 2020
(2/2) Be advised the government of #Peru is limiting air traffic for U.S. citizens to only official travel facilitated through U.S. government. We encourage all citizens to be mindful of fraud & scams &continue monitoring our official channels for the most up-to-date information
— Embajada EEUU Perú (@USEMBASSYPERU) March 22, 2020
U.S. Citizen Travelers: Please enroll in https://t.co/NRpFzarMGq to receive alerts & ensure you can be located in an emergency. U.S. Citizens in an Emergency: Call 1-888-407-4747 (U.S./Canada) or +1-202-501-4444 (overseas) or visit the Embassy page: https://t.co/gQCOPVupqL pic.twitter.com/1rVNwo53ER
— Embajada EEUU Perú (@USEMBASSYPERU) March 22, 2020