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Medium-Term Solutions for Rohingya Refugees and Hosts in Bangladesh
Bangladesh provides a significant global public good by hosting over one million Rohingya refugees. Most are living in camps in Cox’s Bazar District, where local resources and livelihoods are already strained. Safe, voluntary, and sustainable Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar is ultimately the best solution. However, the conditions for return currently do not exist, and Myanmar has not demonstrated meaningful progress toward establishing them. Even if conditions did exist and voluntary repatriation began tomorrow, estimates show a large number of Rohingya will still be in Cox’s Bazar 10 years from now. While the international community must maintain maximum pressure on Myanmar to ensure accountability and conditions for return, it should also engage in medium-term planning given the likelihood of protracted displacement.
CGD’s MDHP team has been working with local and international partners to understand what that medium-term response could look like. In particular, we focus on what the “responsibility-sharing” role of the international community could be, in terms of humanitarian, development, and environmental commitments. Over a series of publications, covering forest and landscape restoration, trade, private sector investment, labor mobility, and policy reforms to benefit refugees and host communities, we outline the steps that could be taken to develop a medium-term plan for Bangladesh, to benefit refugees and host communities.