UNHCR: 12,388 Bhutanese refugees have resettled in various developed countries; NC President Koirala: Repatriation of Bhutanese refugees requires cooperation between Nepal, Bhutan, and India; Constituency development fund approved by Bhutanese Cabinet;
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  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that 12,388 Bhutanese citizens have been resettled in various developed countries, as part of the third country resettlement programme. While 10,934 individuals had resettled in the US, Australia had taken in 675 refugees1.

    In a related development, Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala stated that the repatriation of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal was only possible with the cooperation of Nepal, Bhutan and India. Koirala added that the Bhutanese refugee issue had remained unsolved because it was not just a bilateral issue between Nepal and Bhutan2.

    The Bhutanese Cabinet meanwhile approved a constituency development fund which would provide Nu 10 million over a period of five years to every national assembly member. The fund would be utilized for developmental work in their respective constituencies3.

    In other developments, reports noted that efforts were being directed towards expanding marketing strategies or facilitating the sale of timber from community forests, as a measure to fight poverty4.