Over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees resettled from Nepal to third countries: IOM

    Over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees resettled from Nepal to third countries: IOM

    Nov 24, Kathmandu: Over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled from Nepal to third countries since the start of a resettlement programme launched in 2007 to help them move to new host countries.

    Fifty-three-year-old Devi Maya Thapa represents the 100,000th refugee to be resettled from Nepal. She, along with her husband, children and grandchild, will leave for Ohio in the United States in early December.  This three-generation family will join Devi Maya’s siblings, and over 84,800 other Bhutanese refugees who have started new lives in the USA.

    Eight years ago, some 108,000 refugees from Bhutan were living in seven camps in the Jhapa and Morang districts of eastern Nepal.  Today only two camps remain and the refugee population now stands at less than 18,000.

    According to International Organisation for Migrantion (IOM), a core group of eight countries came together in 2007 to create an opportunity for Bhutanese refugees to begin new lives.  Australia has taken 5,554, Canada 6,500, Denmark 874, New Zealand 1,002, the Netherlands 327, Norway 566 and the United Kingdom 358. The United States has taken 84,819.

    The Chairperson of the core group of eight resettlement countries, Australian Ambassador to Nepal Glenn White said: “Australia is proud to have played a part in this highly successful resettlement programme.  The departure of the 100,000th Bhutanese refugee is a demonstration of the strong humanitarian cooperation between the eight resettlement countries, Nepal, UNHCR and IOM.  I look forward to continued cooperation among the core group, Nepal, and our partners in seeking solutions for the Bhutanese refugees who remain.”

    As resettlement programme reaches its end, it is estimated that up to 12,000 refugees will remain in the camps in Nepal. UNHCR, IOM and the international community will continue their efforts to achieve comprehensive and lasting solutions for the remaining population, IOM said.

    The Oslo Times


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