Archived Webinar

Aid in Conflict-Affected Borderlands: The Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh

The session provides insights into the needs of refugees, their coping strategies, family ties abroad, and the adequacy and limitations of the current aid response.

Over one million refugees currently live in dire conditions in the world's largest refugee camp near the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Almost three years after the 2017 exodus, there is little hope for repatriation or integration in the short term. A recent study by The Asia Foundation and the Center for Peace and Justice at BRAC University highlights the role of transnational family networks and non-aid income in the coping strategies of Rohingya refugees. It stresses the importance of increasing the self-reliance of refugee households by working on comprehensive livelihood solutions that are acceptable to host communities.

Jessica Olney, who led the study, and Manzoor Hasan, Executive Director of the Center for Peace and Justice, provides an overview of research findings and recommendations. They discuss the localization of aid in Bangladesh, and the impact of COVID-19 in the camps.

This is the first part of a series on Aid in Conflict-Affected Borderlands, proposed by the X-Border Local Research Network. Watch the second part The Transnational Everyday in the Horn of Africa and the third part The Syrian Refuge Crisis in Lebanon. A partnership between The Asia Foundation, the Rift Valley Institute and the Carnegie Middle East Center, the X-Border Local Research Network aims to develop a better global understanding of conflict and fragility in the borderlands of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The program is supported by the UK government.

This session is part of the Fragility Forum 2020 Virtual Series.

About the Presenters

Jessica Olney

Lead Researcher, The Asia Foundation

Jessica Olney (@jessica_olney_1) specializes in community engagement in fragile contexts. As a practitioner, researcher and facilitator with 15 years of experience in South and Southeast Asia, she has led studies and written analyses on the Rohingya crisis for Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The Asia Foundation, and Peace Research Institute Oslo. She currently serves as Visiting Researcher at Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University, where she designed projects for civic engagement and peace education implemented amongst host and refugee communities in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She holds a bachelor in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and a masters in leadership for sustainability education from Portland State University.

Manzoor Hasan

Barrister, Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University

Manzoor Hasan (@Manzoor__Hasan) is the Executive Director of the Centre for Peace and Justice of BRAC University and the Chairperson of ActionAid International Bangladesh. He served as the Director of BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (2006-2012) and the Deputy Executive Director of BRAC (2004-2006). He was also the founding Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (1996 to 2003) and subsequently the Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) of Transparency International, Berlin. Mr. Hasan is a public policy reform specialist with nearly two decades of experience in capacity building and institutional strengthening aimed at strengthening governance in Bangladesh. His expertise includes in-depth knowledge and understanding of institutional reform priorities and he is a legal and policy expert. In 2003, he was awarded the Honour of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to Transparency International. Mr. Hasan has graduated from the London School of Economics and is a member of the English and Bangladesh Bar. He is currently serving on a number of boards of non-governmental organizations and companies.

Target Audience

Practitioners and general public

Questions Submitted

jose luis

- Jun 18, 2021


- Jun 4, 2021


- Jan 13, 2021

Jared Troy

- Oct 29, 2020

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- Aug 12, 2020
The Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh
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