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Dhaka needs strong diplomacy to solve Rohingya crisis: CPD

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Staff Reporter  :
Executive Director of Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Dr Fahmida Khatun on Saturday said, the government has to allocate Tk 7,126 cr - 1.80 per cent of the total budget of 2017-18 FY - for the Rohingya people in 10 months.
"It is obvious that Bangladesh must face challenge if the Roingya people stay for long. So, it is important now to continue important diplomacy, particularly with regional partners, to solve the Rohingya crisis," she said.
"A strong platform like BIMSTEC and BCIM with aim to deepen regional and sub-regional trade, investment and transport connectivity should be used for arriving at a solution," said CPD Executive Director. She said this at a dialogue titled 'Addressing Rohingya Crisis: Options for Bangladesh' highlighting the implications of the Rohingya crisis for Bangladesh" held in a hotel in the capital organised by the CPD on Saturday.
Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque attended the discussion as the chief guest.
CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan presided over the dialogue, while Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya moderated at the session.
Former Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Major General (Retd) Anup Kumar Chakma, Executive Director, BRAC Dr Muhammad Musa and Dhaka University's International Relations' teacher Professor Imtiaz Ahmed made comments as panelists. Dr Fahmida said, extra-regional platforms such as ASEAN should play a role in addressing the crisis.
She said an in-depth study to assess the short, medium, and long-term implications for domestic and foreign resources need to be taken.  "All explicit and implicit costs related to the Rohingya crisis should be estimated. Preparation for post-Geneva follow-up meeting for resource mobilisation has to begin now," said the CPD Executive Director.
She said, support for the Rohingyas from the donors such as the World Bank should in the form of grants only.
"Hence, World Bank's grant and loan components should be unpacked. Security measures in the Rohingya camps and adjacent areas, particularly in the Southern of the country have to be strengthened," Fahmida said in her keynote presentation.
The CPD Executive Director mentioned that law-enforcing agencies have to be vigilant to stop illegal activities, drug trade, trafficking and terrorism.
She mentioned that the Rohingya crisis has given a rise to multi-dimensional problem for Bangladesh.
While the Bangladesh government and international and non-government organisations are playing the critical role in providing humanitarian support to the Rohingyas, major global players are yet to take a strong position in resolving the crisis, she said. CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan said, there is no doubt that Bangladesh will face economic problems for the Rohingya people. But the problems should mitigate as early as possible. Bangladesh must take long term plan with international community in this regard.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said about 65 million people are stateless around the world. Bangladesh is the fourth state in terms of giving shelter to the refugees. It is gigantic burden on the country's economy.  "The government has to take quick initiative to resolve the crisis.

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