Govt, UNHCR to conduct census of refugees

Kathmandu, November 6:

The Government of Nepal and UN refugee agency are conducting a census of some 106,000 Bhutanese refugees living in seven camps in Jhapa and Morang districts from November 15, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement here today.

The censu will begin on 15 November in Beldangi I refugee camp. “It is intended that the exercise will be carried out on a camp by camp basis over the next few months,” it said.

They will take the 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,” the statement said adding that a photograph will also be taken of each individual refugee.

Since the arrival of these persons over 16 years ago, data on individual Bhutanese refugees has been limited and not maintained and updated in a systematic manner.

“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,” said Abraham Abraham, UNHCR Representative in Nepal adding that the census will be used to establish individual profiles.