Moonilal wants a structured policy for returning nationals

OROPOUCHE East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal is calling for the setting up of a multipartite committee of MPs, both government and opposition, health officials and advocacy groups to work out a proper policy for returning nationals who are stranded outside TT because of the closed borders.

In a statement, Moonilal said the elderly, sick and disunited families with young children and single parents should be given priority.

He also thanked British MP Steve Baker for his “grave concern and sense of justice in raising the sorry plight of Trinidad’s stranded nationals and citizens in the British Parliament on Monday.”

Baker, the government MP for Wycombe, said he had TT residents or citizens in his constituency “burning through their savings, really terrified about failing to get home to protect their homes and their businesses from approaching severe weather.”

In a question to the UK Foreign Office minister, at a sitting of the House of Commons, Baker asked, “Can I ask the minister if she will join me in calling on TT to make sure their citizens get home? I think it’s our common humanity to enable people to return to protect their homes.”

Minister Wendy Morton advised TT nationals in the UK to contact the High Commission in London and said her office was in close contact with the TT authorities.

“The FCDO has alerted the TT High Commission to cases of stranded TT nationals that we have been made aware of and supported affected individuals to contact the high commission directly. It’s also important to say that we have regular contact with our counterparts in TT,” she added.

Moonilal criticised National Security Minister Stuart Young for his “callous and inhumane approach to the cries and tears of citizens stranded abroad."

He said there was no coherent, transparent and structured policy in place to deal with stranded nationals.

“It has been ad hoc and dysfunctional,” he said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne said TT has provided monetary relief to citizens stranded overseas.

He said US$205,958.99 was distributed to 298 stranded nationals through five overseas missions between August and September as humanitarian aid.

The five overseas missions used to distribute the money were the TT High Commission in London, the Consulates General in Miami, New York and Toronto, and the Embassy in Washington, DC.

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"Moonilal wants a structured policy for returning nationals"

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