The United States recently announced more than 127 million dollars in additional aid for the Rakhine State Crisis in Burma and Bangladesh of which more than 89 million dollars is for programs inside Bangladesh. This funding will ensure that the programs to aid Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Bangladeshi host communities, and internally displaced Rohingya and other conflict-affected ethnic minorities in Burma continue their much-needed work.
The United States remains the leading contributor of assistance to the humanitarian crisis in Burma and Bangladesh, providing more than 669 million dollars since the outbreak of violence in August 2017.
Two years ago, Burma’s security forces again carried out a brutal attack against hundreds of thousands of unarmed men, women, and children in a grossly disproportionate response to attacks by militants on security posts in northern Rakhine State. The Burmese military’s horrific atrocities against Rohingya villagers caused a new exodus of more than 740,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh in actions that constituted ethnic cleansing.
U.S. assistance provides emergency shelter, food and nutrition assistance, protection, safe drinking water, sanitation, as well as healthcare and psychosocial support for people affected by the crisis, among other activities. This funding also includes programs to improve disaster preparedness and foster access to education for Rohingya in Bangladesh.
The United States commends the government of Bangladesh's generosity in hosting nearly one million Rohingya refugees and appreciates its continued efforts to ensure assistance reaches the affected populations. During the 2019 United Nations General Assembly, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to ensuring that humanitarian and development assistance continues to reach the Bangladeshi communities who have so generously hosted Rohingya refugees.
Acting Assistant Secretary Wells also called on the Government of Burma to implement the Annan Commission recommendations and create the conditions that would allow for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Carol Thompson O'Connell said, “Conditions in Rakhine are neither safe nor conducive to voluntary repatriation at this time.”
The U.S. “would like to underscore [its] unwavering support for the Rohingya and members of other vulnerable populations affected by this crisis, who need a sense of hope for a better future,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of State O’Connell. “We would like them to know that the United States and the international community will continue to stand with them.”