All Vietnamese workers in Libya arrive home

Published: 09/03/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – The last flight of Vietnam Airlines in the campaign to rescue Vietnamese workers in Libya arrived at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport in the morning of March 9.

The flight with 209 Vietnamese workers in Libya landed at Noi Bai Airport at 7.45 am. Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan welcomed workers at the airport.

Workers quickly fulfilled entrance formalities and got on buses of labor exporting companies to go downtown, before coming home.

Many workers did not have luggage after several weeks of seeking their way home. Many people went to the airport very early to wait for their relatives.

Ho Van Ky from the central province of Ha Tinh said that he lost all his cash, cell phone and important belongings during the evacuation. “But I’m still lucky than many foreign workers who are still trapped in Libya,” Ky said.

Trieu Ngoc Anh from the northern province of Yen Bai could not forget the three-day time before he left Libya. “Gun-shots were heard along the way. Three of us only had one piece of bread for a day,” he recalled.

The Steering board for rescuing Vietnamese citizens in Libya organized a press conference the same morning announcing that the campaign ended. All of 10,300 Vietnamese workers have left Libya safely and soundly.

After nearly ten days, nine flights of Vietnam Airlines brought close to 3,000 workers back home. The last 1,000 Vietnamese are on the way home on a ship, which is scheduled to arrive in Vietnam on March 21.

Minister of Labor Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung frequently called her about the situation of Vietnamese workers in Libya. He asked the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs to bring all Vietnamese home safely and soundly. The Vietnamese mission based in Tunisia worked very hard to rescue the Vietnamese laborers in Libya.

“Many foreign workers were upset because they did not have assistance to return home like their Vietnamese colleagues,” Ngan said.

The Minister also committed to helping returned workers seek jobs and to guarantee their banking loans.

At the same time, many local companies have said that they are willing to recruit returned workers, paying $200-1,000/month.

Earlier, Dao Cong Hai, Vice chief of the Department for Management of Overseas Labor, said that 90 percent of Vietnamese workers in Libya are experienced builders, who are in demand by many foreign labor markets like Malaysia.

“Those who returned from Libya will be given priority to work overseas,” Hai stated.

According to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) praised Vietnam as one of the first countries that actively evacuated their citizens in Libya back home safely and soundly.

Timelines of the rescue of Vietnamese workers from Libya

January 15: Benghazi city in Libya was shaken by the demonstration of thousands of people against the government led by Colonel Muammar Qaddafi since 1969. There were around 10,400 Vietnamese working at construction sites in Libya at the time.

February 18: Dozens of demonstrators in Benghazi, the second largest state in Libya, were shot dead. Vietnam stopped sending workers to Libya. Labor exporting firms were told to keep an eye on the situation in Libya and to ask Vietnamese workers to avoid public sites.

February 24: Many countries began to evacuate their citizens from Libya. Vietnamese Ambassador to Libya Dao Duy Tien said that some Vietnamese workers were evacuated from Libya by land, air and water by their Korean, Brazilian, Turkish employers.

The Vietnamese government established a steering board to assist Vietnamese in the Middle East and North Africa. The board, led by Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem, was in charge of evacuating Vietnamese from Libya and bringing them home.

February 25: 2,000 Vietnamese workers were evacuated from Libya to Egypt, Turkey, Malta and Tunisia. Around 2,500 were on the way to the border of Libya.

Vietnam asked the IOM to assist Vietnamese workers in Libya.

February 26: Around 4,600 Vietnamese workers were brought to the neighboring countries of Libya and nearly 4,000 others were on the way to the border.

The same day, the first aircraft of Vietnam Airlines left Hanoi with 8 tons of cooking, clothes and medicine to Egypt to help Vietnamese citizens.

March 1: The aircraft returned to Hanoi with 318 Vietnamese workers. The same days, flights of other airlines also carried Vietnamese workers from Libya to Hanoi, raising the total number to 1,450.

March 2: More than 6,000 Vietnamese left Libya to third countries. Around 2,800 arrived home safely while 3,000 were on their way to the border. Around 300 were still trapped in Libya.

March 3: 8,250 Vietnamese were evacuated from Libya to other countries, 2,740 of them returned home safely. The remaining workers were in five neighboring countries of Libya were on the way home by waterway. In addition, there were nearly 300 others trapped in Libya.

March 6: All 10,334 Vietnamese workers were evacuated from Libya, 7,000 of them returned home.

March 9: The last flight brought 209 workers from Libya back home, closing the rescue campaign. The last 1,000 workers will arrive at the northern port of Hai Phong on March 21.

The last Vietnamese workers who returned home by air

The last flight carrying Vietnamese workers from Libya landed at the Noi Bai Airport at 7.45 am, March 9.

Workers were very happy to come home safe and sound.

Over 200 people quickly completed entrance procedures.

Many labor exporting firms sent their representatives to the airport to welcome workers.

Workers’ families were also at the airport very early.

Members of the Vietnamese mission to rescue Vietnamese citizens in Libya also returned home

on the last flight. Second from the left is Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs

Doan Xuan Hung, who was in Tunisia for ten days to evacuate Vietnamese workers.


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