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What Would A Refugee Compact For Bangladesh Look Like? (Devex)

March 19, 2018
From the article:
BANGKOK — Six months after nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled Myanmar for Bangladesh — creating the world’s fastest-growing humanitarian emergency — actors in the international aid community are exploring sustainable solutions.
Early plans for repatriation, which left humanitarians on the ground in the dark, and were met with fierce disapproval from human rights groups, have stalled. And while a controversial $280 million project is underway to turn a remote island into a home for at least 100,000 refugees, now is the time to plan for the longer term well-being of refugees and their host communities in Bangladesh, said Cindy Huang, co-director of migration, displacement, and humanitarian policy at the Center for Global Development.
One model on the table is a refugee compact, which would require uniting the Bangladesh government, donors, and the international community to develop a multiyear commitment to foster inclusive growth and opportunity for refugees as well as host communities.
The refugee compact model has previously been adopted in Jordan and Lebanon to help bridge the humanitarian-development divide and improve education and livelihoods opportunities while offering financial incentives to host countries — like European Union trade concessions. The ability for refugees to work, own businesses, and attend school enables them to become economic contributors to their host countries, and it’s an element of Jordan’s compact that Huang would like to see replicated in Bangladesh.

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Photo of Cindy Huang
Co-Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy and Senior Policy Fellow