Sometime this week the number of Bhutanese refugees who have departed Nepal for the United States will reach 30,000. At about the same time, the number of this group to be resettled in any country will reach 35,000.
In a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu, it said these two milestones come during the on-going large scale resettlement of Bhutanese refugees to several countries around the world. “We are gratified, together with our partners, to be able to help turn an unfortunate and often painful situation into something more hopeful for these people – America’s newest residents, whom we welcome with open arms and hearts,” said U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Scott H. DeLisi. The United States, working with UNHCR, IOM and the other members of the Core Group (Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand and the UK) began resettling Bhutanese refugees in early 2008.
The United States accepts some 75,000 refugees from around the world each year. The Bhutanese resettlement program is currently the third-largest resettlement operation for the United States. Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in all 50 States and receive support from U.S. federal and state governments as well as non-governmental organizations.
The statement further said that the U.S. is committed to accepting as many of the Bhutanese whom UNHCR refers to them for consideration in Nepal and who meet the requirements of U.S. law for refugee admission.
According to the statement, the U.S. continues to urge the Government of Bhutan to accept the return of those persons who are eligible and wish to do so as another important component of finding durable solutions for all Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.