The United States Mission in Nigeria has helped 997 Americans return home to reunite with family and friends following the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Three US Consulate-organised chartered flights operated by Delta Air Lines and Ethiopian Airlines repatriated 850 American citizens from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, to the United States from April 6 to 8.
This is in addition to the 147 United States citizens, who departed Abuja on April 4.
United States Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, noted that in times of emergency, the United States Department of State has no greater priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas.
She said, “This has been three weeks in the making. We had more than 50 people working on this on a daily basis to make sure that we can find the Americans, get the planes, secure flight clearances for the planes to land here and also ensure safe passage of the Americans traveling to the airport since the city is on lockdown.
“It was an enormous effort and I am incredibly proud of my team. We appreciate all the help from our Nigerian partners. We couldn’t have done this without them.”
Pierangelo noted that US Mission remains committed to working closely with the Government of Nigeria and the various health authorities to keep everyone healthy and safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US Government has pledged more than $7m in health and humanitarian funding to Nigeria in response to the pandemic that will go toward risk communication, water and sanitation activities, infection prevention, and coordination.
This assistance joins more than $5.2bn in health assistance and more than $8.1bn in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years.