Correspondent (Asia: South)


KATHMANDU — Twenty Bhutanese refugee families were transported back to their camps in Jhapa and Morang-Eastern Nepal, from Kathmandu after the third country resettlement programme was kept on hold by the U.S. government. Impact of the shutdown was felt even by the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.

Refugees who could not make it to the states this month had to return to their camps. To their disappointment, their dwelling place, the huts, had already been occupied with other refugees. Such refugees who were compelled to stay with their relatives will be provided with food and other facilities by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

On Thursday, an officer with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said,“We have not stopped internal work related to refugee resettlement in the U.S. The programme will resume soon after we receive a go-ahead from the US government.” The United States is the host country with the largest number of Bhutanese refugees (66,134).So far, around 85,000 Bhutanese refugees have resettled in different North American and European countries. There are other host countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Denmark and Canada who have taken in small number of refugees.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons (Alemaugil)