The European Union (EU) and UNHCR funded school uniforms were distributed to the refugee students in the Beldangi and Sanischare camps in eastern Nepal. Some 9,800 children between the age group of 6 and 16 will be receiving the uniforms.
The donation is a part of the overall EU funding of Euro 2,950,000 to the UN refugee agency for the period 2011 to 2014.
Giap Dang, Trade and Economic Advisor of the EU Delegation to Nepal said, “Using your time to study is the best investment that you can make for your future. Education is also your best passport for life. I wear these uniforms with happiness, and I wish that they bring you luck and will help you in your commitment to study well in school."
Fourteen-year-old Ashmita Subba, a student at the Panchawati School in the Beldangi camp said, “I am very happy today to get my new uniforms. We do not have the money to buy new ones, and I have been wearing these old uniforms for the last two years.”
School uniforms are an on-going need for the refugee children and since they do not have the money to buy new ones, for many this is their only clothing. It was in 2009 that students last received their uniforms and since then it could not be provided due to lack of funding.
“We are very grateful to the European Union for their continued support to the Nepal programme and particularly for the donation of school uniforms which is a great support and help to the refugee children,” said Mads Madsen, UNHCR Acting Head of Sub-Office Damak. He also thanked CARITAS Nepal for their untiring support for the education of refugee children and undertaking the task of procuring and distributing the school uniforms very efficiently and successfully.
The EU has provided continuous support to UNHCR’s activities in Nepal since the beginning of the programme for refugees from Bhutan. The 2011-14 contribution is being used for meeting the ongoing protection and material needs of the refugees living in camps in eastern Nepal, including health and nutrition, education, legal assistance, sanitation, shelter and water.
The EU, is one of UNHCR's most important donors. The EU is a major provider of humanitarian and development aid, and a key player in the international effort to develop policies to improve aid effectiveness and coordination at the global level.
A major resettlement programme is underway for the refugees from Bhutan. So far, more than 72,160 refugees from Bhutan have left their camps in Nepal to begin a new life in third countries. Some 41,885 remain in the camps, which was 108,000 before the programme began. Among the remaining population, over 32,478 persons have already declared an interest in resettlement.