US Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green recently visited Kutupalong, a Rohingya refugee camp. “The American people,” he tweeted, “are deeply moved by what the Rohingya have faced.”
In response to the humanitarian crisis, he announced the United States will provide more than $44 million in additional humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent needs of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and people affected by violence and conflict in Burma.
This funding brings U.S. government assistance for the Rakhine crisis response in Burma and Bangladesh to nearly $204 million since the outbreak of violence in August 2017 and the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for displaced people in and from Burma to more than $299 million since the beginning of fiscal year 2017.
Since last August, nearly 700,000 Rohingya people have fled violence in Burma's Rakhine State and crossed the border into Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, a District that already was hosting more than 200,000 Rohingya refugees. In addition, 8.3 million people in Burma live in areas affected by conflict, not only in Rakhine State, but throughout the country. This conflict, and the ensuing displacement of people, has created one of the world's largest humanitarian crises.
As the world's largest humanitarian donor, the United States, through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, is actively responding to urgent needs on both sides of the Burma-Bangladesh border, including the need for health care, food, protection, and clean water. With this new funding, the United States will provide in Bangladesh emergency food assistance for refugees in and around Cox's Bazar. This includes emergency food for general distribution, specialized foods to treat acute malnutrition, and vouchers so refugees can buy food in local markets, where available.
In Burma, U.S. assistance will provide emergency food and nutrition assistance, shelter, medical care, and other critical aid for people affected by the ongoing conflicts in Rakhine, Shan, and Kachin States.
The United States remains committed to helping those affected by conflict and commends the government and people of Bangladesh, who have responded swiftly and generously to the refugees arriving in Bangladesh.
The U.S. urges the government of Burma to provide free and unhindered humanitarian access throughout the country so life-saving aid can reach communities and people in need. It is also incumbent on the Burmese government to create the conditions that allow for the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of refugees.