The European Union (EU) has contributed 2 million Euro (equivalent to NPR 231 million) to UNHCR to provide protection and sustainable solutions for the refugees from Bhutan in Nepal.
UNHCR will use the funds over the next three years (2016-2018) to resettle Bhutanese refugees to third countries and to care for those who opt to remain in Nepal. The latter support will include physical and legal protection as well as services including shelter, education, health, sanitation, access to sustainable energy and support in addressing psycho-social and other specific needs.
"The European Union is more than delighted to make this contribution that will go into meeting the basic needs of the 17,000 Bhutanese refugees in eastern Nepal. I hope that the assistance will enable a congenial living environment for the refugees who have been receiving the support from the EU for many years now," EU Ambassador to Nepal, Rensje Teerink said.
The EU has been continuously supporting UNHCR’s activities for the refugees from Bhutan since 1994.
“We are extremely grateful to the EU for this generous contribution. It arrives in time to fill some of our funding gaps and will boost our efforts to find durable solutions for Bhutanese refugees living in Beldangi and Sanischare camps,” said Craig Sanders, UNHCR Representative in Nepal.
More than 101,000 Bhutanese refugees have begun new lives in eight countries since the launch of the resettlement program in late 2007.
Nepal currently hosts over 17,000 Bhutanese refugees in the two camps. It is estimated that around 10-12,000 refugees will remain in these camps as the resettlement operation concludes in the near future.
UNHCR is promoting greater self-reliance of the remaining refugees by strengthening livelihoods and community-based protection.
Together with the Government of Nepal, UNHCR will continue its efforts to rationalize and consolidate in-camp services to achieve comprehensive and lasting solutions for the remaining refugee population in Nepal.