Kathmandu: As many as 60,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in the US from Nepal where they had taken refuge in the 1990s after being forced out of their country.
On September 04, the 60,000th Bhutanese refugee, departed from Nepal to USA. The 28-year-old woman will start a new life in Columbus, Ohia, with her husband and young daughter, said a statement from the US embassy here.
The US, in close coordination with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), began resettling Bhutanese refugees residing in eastern Nepal in 2007.
Besides the US, which has accepted 60,000 refugees, some 11,000 have already settled in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, and the UK, as part of the third country resettlement programme initiated in 2007 in association with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
"The US is committed to considering for resettlement as many Bhutanese refugees as express interest," said the US embassy.
Initially, the US government had expressed interest to accept a maximum of 60,000 Bhutanese refugees.
Over 100,000 Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees have been residing in various camps of eastern Nepal since early 1990s after the Bhutan government introduced the `One Nation One People` policy to resurrect the Bhutanese cultural identity.
After many rounds of bilateral talks held between Nepal and Bhutan failed to repatriate even a single Bhutanese refugee, Nepal government agreed to resettle them in third countries at the initiative of the UNHCR.