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Conference Background Document - Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response (22 October)

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Nearly one million Rohingya refugees and asylum-seekers from Myanmar are registered in Asia. Bangladesh has registered 860,000. In Malaysia there are 102,000 registered and in India 18,000. There are also some 600,000 Rohingya currently residing in Rakhine State, Myanmar, of whom 140,000 are internally displaced.

Since 2017, USD 2.2 billion has been raised for the humanitarian response for Rohingya in Bangladesh alone, not including USD 700 million in development commitments from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Without sustainable solutions for the Rohingya, their situation may well continue as one of protracted displacement.

To advance solutions for the Rohingya, and so that they can meanwhile live in dignity wherever they are, a focus on more sustainable response planning and financing is needed, in particular in the following four areas:

1. Addressing the root causes

The solution to the Rohingya crisis lies in Myanmar, and the path to the solution is through Myanmar’s full implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, which would enable the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

2. Maintaining humanitarian assistance

Significant material support will be needed to maintain lifesaving assistance and uphold basic standards of living for Rohingya refugees in host countries and those internally displaced and stateless in Myanmar.

3. Expanding opportunities

Rohingya children and youth in particular need to have hope for a life with dignity. Education for Rohingya children and youth is an important factor in preparing them for a full role in their home society as well as allowing for personal growth and self-reliance. It will make them less vulnerable to exploitation, including smuggling and trafficking.

4. Investing in host communities

Development investment is also needed in host communities to help them mitigate the socioeconomic pressures of hosting refugees and ensure that, once solutions are found for Rohingya refugees, host communities are more resilient.