U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B. Teplitz, along with Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration, and seven other countries, congratulated the 100,000th Bhutanese refugee departing from Nepal for resettlement abroad.
In a special ceremony with Chief Guest Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Ambassador Teplitz thanked the government and people of Nepal for generously welcoming Bhutanese refugees for over 20 years, and facilitating their travel to the United States and other countries. “For our part, the United States has welcomed over 84,500 Bhutanese refugees. We are a nation of immigrants, and have the largest refugee resettlement program in the world,” said Teplitz. She continued, “In the continuing spirit of the resettlement effort, we support the Government of Nepal in its collaboration work with the international community to find a path to self-sufficiency for the expected 10-12,000 Bhutanese expected to stay in Nepal.”
Dipesh Thapa, the grandchild of Bal Bahadur and Devi Maya Thapa -- who turned four years old today -- will be the 100,000th Bhutanese refugee to resettle from Nepal. Eight members of the Thapa family will soon depart Nepal to start a new life in Ohio. Of the total 100,000 resettled Bhutanese refugees, eighty-five percent have been resettled in the United States, with the rest immigrating to Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
According to a press release issued by Public Affairs Section Embassy of The United States, the United States, in coordination with the government of Nepal, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom began resettling Bhutanese refugees residing in eastern Nepal in 2007. Some of the over 84,500 Bhutanese who have resettled in the United States have already become naturalized U.S. citizens.