Following the enforcement of restrictive and discriminatory citizenship laws in Bhutan, over 100,000 refugees from Bhutan fled to Nepal in the early 1990s, where they were recognized on a prima facie basis by the Government of Nepal (GoN). The refugees from Bhutan were originally settled in seven refugee camps in south-eastern Nepal, where the GoN and UNHCR provided them with basic humanitarian assistance and international protection, in cooperation with other national and international partners, including WFP. The Government of Nepal (GoN) and local communities have generously hosted refugees from Bhutan since their arrival two decades ago, despite their own limited resources.
To assess the situation in the camps and the assistance provided to the refugees, Joint Assessment Missions (JAMs) have been conducted periodically by UNHCR and WFP with assistance from the Government of Nepal, the implementing/cooperating partners, and NGOs. The 2012 Joint Assessment Mission was held during June 2012. Representatives of UNHCR and WFP conducted field visits in the camps, accompanied by observers from donors (ECHO, EU, and the US Embassy). Findings and recommendations were presented to the Country Directors of UNHCR and WFP in Kathmandu and then to the Government of Nepal.