“This is a shame, really. Some of us don’t even have food to eat. Help us return home for God’s sake.”
Rabat – A Moroccan man stranded in Saudi Arabia has condemned the dire situation of Moroccans stuck in the Gulf country due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown and closed borders.
“You know how life is expensive here. If you don’t have money to buy water, you will die of thirst because the drinking water here is not good. You should buy bottled water to drink,” he said.
In addition to everyday expenses, he continued, there are costs for rent and electricity bills.
“How can we cover this since we have been suspended from work for nearly two months now?” the desperate man said.
Comparing financial assistance in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, he said the situation is much better in his home country.
In Saudi Arabia, “Things are different … don’t believe what is on Facebook about aid from associations,” he said.
In Morocco, he continued, people receive financial aid through the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) and Medical Assistance Plan (RAMED), but “we don’t have anything of this sort [in Saudi Arabia].”
The man sent a plea to the Moroccan government asking them to find a quick solution to help those who are stuck abroad without employment to return home.
He also asked internet users to share the video so the Moroccan government can see it and meet their requests as soon as possible. “Please, please share this video and help us. We are suffering,” he said.
Some people are suffering because they do not have food and water, he continued. “There are people with families. There is no support.”
مواطن مقيم بالسعودية يستنجد بالحكومة المغربية لإنقاذه من الجوع والقهر اسمعوا ما خفي أعظم. للإشارة لست أنا الشخص الذي يتكلم في المقطع
Moroccans’ options for bringing awareness to their plight are limited, he added.
“We don’t want to go protest next to the Moroccan consulates in Saudi Arabia.”
He said several countries, such as Egypt, have repatriated their citizens stranded abroad, but Morocco has yet to step in to rescue its nationals.
“Whenever I ask about our situation, they tell us your country does not want you. This is a shame. I stopped asking to not hear such an answer, it is a shame,” he lamented.
Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said on April 23 that the country is working on plans to repatriate all Moroccans stranded abroad, estimated at 22,000. He said the repatriation process requires rigorous preparation to preserve public health.
Morocco closed its borders mid-March to contain the virus, which has killed 174 people to date in the country. The Ministry of Health has confirmed 5,000 cases of COVID-19 as of May 4.