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Resettlement Of Bhutanese Refugees In Nepal

UN agency plans large-scale resettlement of Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal

The United Nations refugee agency and its partners are laying the groundwork for the large-scale resettlement of Bhutanese refugees living in camps in Nepal following the Government's announcement that they can go to other countries.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is starting a "mass information campaign to help them make an informed decision," William Spindler told journalists in Geneva.

On Friday, the Government of Nepal announced that refugees who wish to opt for third country resettlement can do so based on an informed choice and acceptance by the resettlement country.

The United States has announced that it will resettle 60,000 refugees and even more if required, according to UNHCR. Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway have also expressed their desire to take their share in the resettlement of refugees, while Canada has announced its plan to resettle 5,000 refugees from Bhutan currently living in Nepal's camps.

Some 107,000 refugees from Bhutan are currently living in seven camps in eastern Nepal, some of them for as long as 17 years, the agency said.

"UNHCR and the international community will continue efforts to ensure that as many doors as possible are opened to achieve lasting solutions to their plight, including voluntary repatriation to Bhutan as and when return conditions permit," Mr. Spindler said.


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