Impacts Assessment of the Rohingya Crisis on Bangladesh: A Comprehensive Picture



Since the last exodus of Rohingyas on 25 August 2017, Bangladesh hosts nearly 1.3 million Rohingyas (aka Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs). Arguably, the largest refugee camp in the world is now located in Cox’s Bazar. The impact of the crisis has been substantial, affecting Bangladesh as a host country in several respects. On the eve of the launching of UN-Bangladesh Joint Response Plan (JRP) that seeks to mobilise $943m for nearly a million Rohingyas and 500,000 host community people in Cox’s Bazar, Filippo Grandi, UNHCR refugee chief mentioned that “The impact of the presence [of the Rohingyas] is very severe for the local community, environment, and infrastructure” while emphasizing that “We are also asking donors, please do not take that patience [the host community’s] for granted.”While Bangladesh allowed their entry and has extended support purely on humanitarian grounds, it is of paramount importance that they are repatriated as early as possible to their homeland (i.e., Rakhine State of Myanmar). Concurrently, due to their long-term stay, it is now time to take a stock of adverse impacts of the crisis due to the presence of FDMNs in Bangladesh in social, economic, security, and environmental areas. To date, the burden of hosting and accommodating such a large number of people has not been itemized, captured, and considered.The study will cover a range of socio-cultural impacts, primarily to provide objective references directly linked to the host community predicaments.  It will also raise the awareness of the international community about the full range of the burden and most importantly environmental damage that occurred so far in the camp areas as well as social and economic problems and future security risks for the region and beyond. This study being a unique in nature looks into five domains of impacts (i.e., Social, Economic, Environment, Security, and Health), is likely to contribute to the understanding of UN, other international bodies, and the global community that the status quo is not only unacceptable but also risky. Therefore, an expeditious repatriation of Rohingyas is the only viable option for the international community to pursue. It is important to underscore that one of the purposes of the research and its outcome is to share the cost of hosting displaced people for a protracted period and not to seek any compensation.

Research Significance:

Each displaced community had their own unique challenges and experiences. Hence, the existing research and the proposed solutions can not be adopted without further investigation in order to find a viable solution for the Rohingya crisis. In addition, a complete and full-scale research on the state of the host country in terms of economic loss, environmental degradation, social burden and political security impact of hosting the displaced community is needed to formulate viable solutions to the crisis. The proposed study will take a unique approach to apprise the international community not only about the adverse impacts of the forced displacement through evidence-based research. It will also aim to motivate them to form a ‘coalition of willing’ to come up with a tangible solution of repatriation. The research would propose plausible model/s for such a scheme, which might shed fresh ideas into the concept of absolute ‘state sovereignty’ and ‘human rights violation’ and why countries should be held accountable for such an act.


The planned independent study has threefold objectives:
1) To research and document the positive and negative, primary and secondary long-term social-cultural-environment-economic-health effects produced by the Rohingya FDMNs intended or unintended. Correspondingly, the study aims to evaluate impacts so as to examine the nature of relationship between the presence of the Rohingyas in the host community and perceived or real dangers.
2) to analyse the short, intermediate, and long-term impacts due to the FDMN presence on the environment.
3) to prepare a comprehensive report for the appraisal of the national and international stakeholders for taking effective multi-lateral actions so as to emphasize the danger of status quo situation that the government of Myanmar currently pursues.
4) to prepare advocacy material for arguing and advocating for early repatriation of the FDMNs.

Research Timeline:

Total duration of the study: 2 years


Proposed time

Research planning, design, and concept finalization 3 months
Identifying research collaboration partners, liaison, and nomination 2 months
Fieldwork (data collection) 8 months
Data analysis 5 months
Writing reports 6 months


24 months