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Rural communities have strong self-identities and histories and want these to continue to be positively written into the future. Economic and development challenges have impacted employment and migration trajectories, but challenges remain in this environment to both attract and retain existing community members and newer migrants, including those from a refugee background such as Hazara Afghans. Refugee-background migrants on the other hand arrive in rural communities with short and long-term needs, hopes and dreams for themselves, their families and their community.
What is needed are in-depth local case studies, like this one, of rural communities where humanitarian settlement is already taking place.
The authors argue in this report that, while refugee-background migrants can have a positive impact on rural communities, it is important to learn from the experiences of rural communities that already have a history of refugee settlement. Those experiences can provide evidence-based information that can maximise the potential for success – for the refugee-background migrants themselves, local rural communities and, of course, government settlement policies – what might be called a win-win-win outcome.