Govt, UNHCR to conduct census of Bhutanese refugees
The Government of Nepal and the United Nations High Commissioner for refugee are jointly conducting a census of Bhutanese refugees languishing in seven camps of Jhapa and Morang district of eastern Nepal.
A press release issued by the UNHCR said, the census will begin as of 15 November in Beldangi I refugee camp.
“t is intended that the exercise will be carried out on a camp by camp basis over the next few months,” the statement added.
The census team will be made up of UNHCR-trained persons who will conduct the interviews in close co-operation and collaboration with the officials of the Government of Nepal to both count and update basic bio-data and profile of the refugees.
“The refugee agency’s newly developed proGres software will be used to log an accurate record of the number of refugees and to collect other related information. A digital photograph will be taken of each individual refugee with the view to issuing photo identity cards after the completion of the census process,”.
“A reliable census data will help the Government of Nepal and UNHCR to provide better protection, security and support to the refugees on the basis of improved documentation on “who is who” and “who is where” to be able to respond to individual needs,” the release quoted UNHCR Representative in Nepal Abraham Abraham as saying.
This census is strongly supported by donor countries such as Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands and the United States among others.
Nearly 106,000 Bhutanese refugees are languishing in seven UNHCR administered camps of eastern Nepal since last 16 years. 15 round of talks between Nepal and Bhutan failed to resolve the refugee deadlock. nepalnews.com pb Nov 06 06