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Second group of Gateway refugees arrive from Nepal

To be resettled under the Gateway Protection Programme

7th September 2010: A second group of more than 30 Bhutanese refugees arrived in the UK from Nepal, to be resettled here under the Gateway Protection Programme.

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The Gateway Protection Programme aims to settle some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees and is operated in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), local authorities and other partner organisations including the Refugee Council and Refugee Action.

Last month, an initial group of 43 Bhutanese refugees arrived in the UK under the programme, following interviews in Nepal by a UK Border Agency resettlement team. Another group is expected to arrive in early October, bringing the total number of resettled refugees from eastern Nepal to 112 for this year. Many of them have been living in camps for almost 20 years after being forced out by the Bhutanese authorities in the 1990s.

Since the start of the programme in 2004, the UK has resettled more than 2,700 refugees including Liberians from Sierra Leone, Conglonese from Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda, and Iraqis from Jordan.

Barbara Clark of the UK Border Agency’s refugee resettlement programme unit said:

‘We are very pleased to be able to settle the second group of Bhutanese refugees to the UK. This is an exceptional achievement and is testament to the effective joint working between the agency and corporate partners.’

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