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Bangladesh faces economic crisis for Rohingya influx

Speaker at a dialogue on Saturday suggested intensifying diplomatic efforts at regional and international forums for an immediate solution to the Rohingya problem, saying that Bangladesh will have to face economic, social and environmental challenges in case of any delay in solving this crisis.

The main challenge Bangladesh is facing is economic, they said, adding that the Rohingya crisis is creating pressure on employment as the number of day-labourers is increasing. It has already affected the tourism business in Cox’s Bazar, they added, according to a news agency.

Other speakers said the only solution to the Rohingya crisis is to taking back the Rohingya people from Bangladesh by giving them citizenship and the United Nations should highlight this issue properly.

“As Myanmar is a close-door neighbour, Bangladesh is trying to solve the Rohingya crisis maintaining relations with it. Bangladesh will not allow anyone to use its land against Myanmar,” said foreign secretary Md Shahidul Haque at the dialogue titled ‘Addressing Rohingya Crisis: Options for Bangladesh’.

During the dialogue it was said that Tk 1,356 crore were spent from March to August this year for Rohingyas and Tk 2,000 will be needed from September this year to February, 2018.

Mentioning the report of the United Nations Human Right Commission, CPD said Tk 7,126 crore are urgently needed from September this year to June 2017 for Rohingyas. This amount is 1.8 percent of the Bangladesh’s national budget and 2.5 percent of total revenue, it said.

Former Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Maj Gen (retd) Anup Kumar Chakma, Executive Director, BRAC Dr Muhammad Musa and Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka Prof Imtiaz Ahmed made comments as panelists.

CPD Chairman Prof Rehman Sobhan chaired the dialogue while CPD Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya moderated the session.

Foreign secretary Md Shahidul Haque said Rohingyas are the national of Myanmar and Bangladesh has stood beside the forcibly evicted Rohingya people on humanitarian ground.

“We have extended Rohingyas humanitarian assistance despite our limited resources but there is no scope to create any conflict with it because we have already told them that the government will show zero tolerance to ARSA,” he said.

Shahidul Haque also said the government has close monitoring in the area where the Rohingyas are given shelter.

CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun suggested using regional platforms such as Bimstec and BCIM which aim to deepen regional and sub-regional trade, investment and transport connectivity for solving the Rohingya crisis.

She also laid emphasis on carrying out an in-depth study to assess the short-, medium- and long-term implications for domestic and foreign resources need to taken.

Fahmida said support for the Rohingyas from the donors such as the World Bank should in the form of grants only.

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