EU provides 2 mln euros for Bhutanese refugees based in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — The European Union (EU) has provided 2 million euros for the protection and sustainable solutions for the refugees from Bhutan sheltered in eastern part of Nepal, the European Union Delegation to Kathmandu said on Wednesday.

The funds will be used by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) over the next three years 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,” read a press statement issued by the European Union Delegation to Kathmandu.

Nepal is currently home for over 17,000 Bhutanese refugees in two camps in eastern Jahapa District. The European Union has been continuously providing support to the 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 the two camps,” UNHCR Representative in Nepal, Craig Sanders said in the statement.

It is estimated that around 10,000 – 12,000 refugees will remain in these camps as the resettlement operation concludes in the near future, the EU delegation office said. More than 101,000 Bhutanese refugees have left Nepal to start new lives in eight countries since the launch of the resettlement program in late 2007.

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