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Nepal has a longstanding tradition of providing asylum. The country hosts around 20,000 refugees, including those from Tibet, Bhutan and other states. The main arrivals of refugees took place in 1959 with an influx from Tibet, and again in 1990/1991 with an influx from Bhutan. 

UNHCR supports the Government of Nepal in various programmes to protect and assist refugees in the country. This includes advocacy for legal identity documentation, livelihood programmes to achieve self-reliance, and the inclusion of refugees into policies, public services and the Government of Nepal’s Emergency, Development and SDG planning.

UNHCR works in close partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs, other key ministries, provincial and local authorities, community-based organizations, development partners, donors, the private sector, NGOs, civil societies, and most importantly, the refugees themselves.

Between 2007 to 2016, UNHCR helped resettle more than 113,500 Bhutanese refugees to eight different countries in one of the largest group resettlement programmes globally.

Additional information

For information about our work in Nepal:

Operational updates

For up-to-date information about our programmes and operations in Nepal, including funding level and donor contributions, visit Global Focus, UNHCR's reporting portal.

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Legislation and guidance

For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.

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