(From L to R) ECHO Nepal Office Programme Officer Piush Kayastha, ECHO Desk Officer for Nepal and Bangladesh Marco Capurro, Adviser for Operational Coordination with Field Network Simon Horner and ECHO HQ Operational Assistant Beatriz Garcia-Rodriguez are briefed about WFP operations in Bhutanese refugee camps in Eastern Nepal.
The team from the European Commission on Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) visited the camps to assess the current situation of the Bhutanese refugees.
WFP Nepal Head of Programme, Marco Cavalcante (C), talks about WFP's food storage and distribution process at the refugee camp. ECHO has been one of the key and consistent donors to food assistance programmes for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.
The visiting ECHO officials inspect the vegetable garden project run by Bhutanese refugees with support from WFP. Vegetable gardening engages refugee families in farming, allowing them to consume fresh vegetables that help improve their nutrition.
From discussions with refugee families, the delegation from ECHO learns about their challenges in the camps. Despite reduction in refugee numbers resulting from third country resettlement, the remaining people in the camps still need external assistance in order to make ends meet.
UNHCR informs the visiting delegates about the resettlement status of the Bhutanese refugees. Nearly 85,000 refugees have been resettled - most of them in the United States, followed by Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands since the third country resettlement process started in 2007.
ECHO officials speak with women who receive training on tailoring, embroidery and painting from a host community at the outskirts of the refugee camps. It is hoped that the training they receive will help them earn extra income.