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Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey With Bhutanese Refugees

Nepal, Bhutan, and India Oct. 30 - Nov.11, 2007: Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, Ellen R. Sauerbrey traveled to Nepal, Bhutan and India October 30-November 11, 2007. During her trip she met with refugees and government officials, and reviewed PRM-funded refugee admissions and assistance projects in the three countries concerned with refugee issues. Over 107,000 Bhutanese refugees live in seven camps in eastern Nepal. The majority are ethnic Nepalis who fled Bhutan in the 1991-1993 period.


Bhutanese refugee camp [State Dept. Photo]

Pictured above, Goldhap camp (eastern Nepal) is where thousands of Bhutanese refugees have sheltered for up to 17 years. On November 2, the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, Nancy Powell, escorted Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey to several refugee camps (including  Goldhap) housing Bhutanese refugees.

Bhutanese refugees learn about new opportunities for resettlement to other countries including the United States. [State Dept. Photo]

 Pictured above, some 500 Bhutanese refugees at Goldhap camp listend to Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey speak about new opportunities for resettlement to other countries including the United States. The United States is committed to considering for resettlement as many Bhutanese refugees as express interest. Many refugees still are hoping for repatriation back to Bhutan.

United Nations’ World Food Program staffer briefs Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey at Goldhap camp about their food distribution program. [State Dept. Photo]
United Nations’ World Food Program staffer briefs Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey at Goldhap camp about their food distribution program. The U.S. Government is a significant donor to this program, which provides basic food to the Bhutanese refugees located in the seven camps in eastern Nepal.

U.S. Ambassador Powell, ,front left, with Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey ,middle, after meeting with an armed police force unit that protects refugees.  [State Dept. Photo]

U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, Nancy Powell, (front left) with Assistant Secretary Ellen Sauerbrey (middle) on November 2 after meeting with an armed police force unit that protects refugees at the Beldangi camps in eastern Nepal.

Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey is surrounded by Tibetan children participants at a children’s “Art Refuge.” [State Dept. Photo] 

On November 3 in Kathmandu, Nepal, Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey is surrounded by Tibetan children participants at a children’s “Art Refuge.” Two centers were created in 1999 for refugee children by the “Friends of Tibetan Women’s Association,” to provide a safe environment at the Refugee Reception Centers in Kathmandu and in Dharamsala, India. Many of these children fled with their families or friends across the Himalayas to escape persecution or gain an education not available in their homeland. Art Refuge is a non-profit educational organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico (www.artrefuge.org). PRM supports the Tibet Fund’s assistance programs in Nepal and India.

Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey ,right of center, and Beth Hogan,left of center, Deputy Director of ,USAID, in New Delhi ,India, pose with the Dalai Lama. [State Dept. Photo]

Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey (right of center) and Beth Hogan (left of center), Deputy Director of the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) in New Delhi (India) pose with the Dalai Lama for a ceremonial photo following their meeting on November 10, 2007 in Dharamsala.

Assistant Secretary Ellen Sauerbrey met with the 4th and former King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk. [State Dept. Photo]

Assistant Secretary Ellen Sauerbrey met with the 4th (and former) King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, on November 5, 2007 in Thimphu, Bhutan to discuss the potential for reopening negotiations on repatriation of some Bhutanese now living in Nepal.


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