Camp population falls 70 percent in five years


The ongoing third country resettlement process has led to a 70 percent decline in the number of exiled Bhutanese dwelling in UN-funded refugee camps of Jhapa and Morang.

Exiled Bhutanese at ‘Runche Chowk’ in Beldangi-II (Picture: Vidhyapati Mishra/BNS)

When the resettlement program begun in early 2008, there were around 10,8000 individuals in six camps of Jhapa, and the seventh camp in Sanischare of Morang.

Currently, three Beldangi and Sanischare camps just hold  40971 persons, with around 300-400 leaving for various western counties every week.

The latest resettlement statistics as of January this revealed that 75, 275 persons have already opted resettlement. Of them, the United States has accepted 63,546 alone.

Settlement figures in other countries included Canada(5,311), Australia(3,838), Denmark(741), New Zealand(710), Norway(546), Netherlands(326) and the United Kingdom(257).

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which has been overseeing the resettlement program, 30, 933 out of the remaining camp population have applied for resettlement and are being processed.