NUPO, 30 April 2009 (IRIN) – The resettlement of Burmese refugees from the nine camps along the Thai border with Myanmar has been something of a success story. More than 43,000 have found homes in some 11 countries since 2004 when the programme began up to the end of 2008. Another 13,000 are expected to leave in 2009.
However, there has been a price to pay in the gap left in key refugee camp services.
Saw Wah Htee, the community leader in Umpium refugee camp in southern Tak Province, told IRIN six of the 15 camp committee members had already resettled, leaving a leadership gap. Similarly in education. Naw Baw Nyaw, secretary of the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), said: “A major problem is that programme staff is being resettled – particularly teachers. Previously, teachers had experience. Now teachers are newly graduated, with no experience.
“Fifty percent of our teachers have been lost to resettlement since 2005.” continue