(Nov. 09) The Australian government´s Overseas Aid Program (AusAID) has donated US$460,000 to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Nepal to feed the Bhutanese refugees living in two eastern Nepalese districts of Jhapa and Morang. This donation alone is expected to cover the food needs for the entire Bhutanese refugee population in the refugee camps for atleast 20 days, according to the statement of the WFP.
Since the second week of October, the refugees’ ration had been reduced almost to half citing the severe funding shortage. But now, following this aid from Australian Govt., the UN has resumed the full supplies of ration to them.
“We are very grateful to the Australian Government for their timely contribution and their continued support to the refugees,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Country Representative in Nepal,
The government of Australia, in a bid to find a durable solution to this long festering refugee crisis, is also resettling 5,000 Bhutanese refugees in its land over the next few years. Around one thousand of these refugees have already been resettled in different states of Australia.
With nearly 23 thousand refugees already relocated in third countries, currently there are close to 86 thousand Bhutanese refugees of Nepali ethnicity in seven UNHCR supervised camps in Nepal. They are not legally allowed to go out of the camps for engaging in income generating works. Therefore, food assistance is a must for them.