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ABSTRACT. Responsibility-sharing is a core tenet of international responses to refugee crises. Too often, however, there are massive failures in responding collectively and cooperatively to large-scale movements of refugees and displaced persons. Responsibility-sharing is essential largely because the costs associated with protecting and assisting refugees and displaced persons are unequally placed. Where refugees go is often an accident of geography, with low- and middle-income states that are close to countries in conflict often called upon to host far larger numbers of refugees than wealthier, more distant states. Responsibility-sharing is often defined to include financial contributions and redistribution of refugees through resettlement. This paper argues for a broader understanding of responsibility-sharing. It focuses on several areas of responsibility-sharing, including efforts to address the underlying causes of displacement within and across borders; efforts to find solutions, including resettlement of refugees from host countries to third countries; initiatives to enhance protection; financial support for refugees, internally displaced persons, and the communities in which they reside; and technical assistance and training for host countries and local organizations. The article is based on a case study of attitudes toward responsibility-sharing among government officials, operational agencies and refugees and displaced persons in the Middle East and North Africa, where millions of refugees and internally displaced persons are located. The article concludes with recommendations to enhance responsibility-sharing as well as mechanisms to alleviate the costs to host communities and broaden the benefits to refugees and hosts alike.

Keywords: Global Compact on Refugees; host communities; internally displaced persons; Middle East and North Africa; refugees; responsibility-sharing; refugee resettlement

How to cite: Martin, Susan F., Rochelle Davis, Grace Benton, and Zoya Waliany (2019). “International Responsibility-Sharing for Refugees: Perspectives from the MENA Region,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 11(1): 59–91.

Received 17 June 2018 • Received in revised form 9 November 2018
Accepted 11 November 2018 • Available online 10 December 2018

doi:10.22381/GHIR11120193

SUSAN F. MARTIN
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isim.georgetown.edu
Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA
(corresponding author)
ROCHELLE DAVIS
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Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA
GRACE BENTON
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Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA
ZOYA WALIANY
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Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA

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