On April 2, UNHCR Nepal began an information campaign in the Bhutanese refugee camps to publicize the upcoming deadline to submit a declaration of interest in resettlement. The deadline for Bhutanese refugees to declare interest in the group resettlement program is June 30, 2014.
The international community has been resettling Bhutanese refugees from Nepal since 2008. Of the 107,800 refugees in the camps at the beginning of the program, 89,000 have been resettled, including nearly 75,000 to the United States. Only 29,500 refugees remain in the camps, with all but 7,500 having already expressed interest in resettlement and in some stage of resettlement processing. With so few refugees remaining in the camps, we are reaching the natural conclusion of the group resettlement program for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.
The resettlement program will continue until we have completed the processing of every application received by the deadline. We realize that not all Bhutanese who are eligible for resettlement consideration are interested in resettlement. We urge those who are interested in resettlement to submit an expression of interest form to UNHCR by June 30.
UNHCR has developed an extensive and pro-active information campaign to reach all refugees in the camps in Nepal. Over the course of the next two weeks, UNHCR and IOM will host 90 information sessions in the three camps and have created an information station in each of the camps. Relatives in the U.S. should encourage family members in the camps to meet with UNHCR and IOM at the information sessions or the offices.