Today, 1.4 million refugees urgently await resettlement. Unlike the rest of the world’s 26 million refugees, they have been designated by the United Nations (UN) as having vulnerabilities that cannot be addressed in their host countries. They are therefore waiting to be moved from the country hosting them to a third country willing to grant them permanent settlement. But less than a tenth of these people will be resettled this year; people are joining the queue faster than they leave it. The global community is failing in its duty to ensure their safety.
Designing a Medium-Term Response to the Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Ideas for Bangladesh, the International Community, and the Private Sector
While Bangladesh and Myanmar have recently attempted small-scale repatriation, these efforts have failed as refugees refused to go back, fearing for their safety. Conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State continue to deteriorate, and UN agencies have been denied full access to areas of return. Despite this, planning so far has been short-term and focused on aid rather than medium-term economic, environmental, and human development approaches.
Global businesses can make unique and valuable contributions to refugee response by engaging refugees not as aid recipients, but as employees, producers, investees, and customers.
The position of global enterprises as market leaders, policy influencers, and innovators gives them distinctive capacities for engagement and advocacy that do not exist within the traditional refugee response community.
Today, an unprecedented 65 million people—including 21 million refugees—are displaced from their homes. Still, as this report points out, the challenge is manageable—if the international community is able to get its response right. This report offers key principles for closing the humanitarian-development divide and practical guidance for designing effective compacts. We encourage policymakers and implementers alike to carefully consider these recommendations to ensure that humanitarian and development dollars have a real impact on the lives of refugees and host communities.