IOM Helps Over 40,000 Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal to Resettle Abroad
Under the joint UNHCR-IOM resettlement programme, which was launched at the beginning of 2008, the US has accepted 34,129 of the refugees, Canada 2,333, Australia 2,168, New Zealand 498, Norway 273, Denmark 326, the Netherlands 229 and the United Kingdom 111.
The resettled refugees represent over a third of a caseload of some 108,000 Bhutanese of Nepali origin who fled Bhutan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, following the country's decision to revoke their citizenship.
The refugees, known as "Lhotsampas", found refuge in seven camps established in Jhapa and Morang districts in eastern Nepal. The camps are still home to some 72,733 refugees, of whom some 55,000 have expressed an interest in resettlement and are expected to leave Nepal in the next four years.
Under the resettlement programme, UNHCR interviews refugees who express an interest in resettlement and refers their cases to resettlement countries.
IOM is responsible for preparing files on each case, and for providing health assessments, cultural orientation and transportation of the refugees from the camps to their final destination in resettlement countries.
The resettlement programme is based in Damak, the Nepali town closest to the camps.
For more information please contact Jennifer Pro at IOM Damak. Tel: +977-23-585-201. e-mail: email@example.com
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