On behalf of the United States, Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced nearly $180 million in additional humanitarian assistance for those affected by the Rakhine State/Rohingya refugee crisis in Burma, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region.
With this new funding, our total humanitarian assistance for this response reaches more than $1.5 billion since August 2017, when more than 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee ethnic cleansing and other horrific atrocities and abuses in Burma’s Rakhine State to safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
This total funding has included more than $1.2 billion for programs in Bangladesh and allows our humanitarian partners to provide life-saving assistance to the nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. It also provides support to more than 472,000 affected members of the local host community in Bangladesh.
U.S. humanitarian assistance for this crisis delivers across multiple realms, including education, food security, health, nutrition, protection, shelter, disaster response, water, sanitation, and hygiene. We applaud humanitarian actors for a strong and well-coordinated humanitarian response, which includes preventing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States recognizes the challenges and responsibilities that the response has placed on the people and Government of Bangladesh, and we underscore the continued commitment of the international community to addressing and resolving this crisis. In the aftermath of Burma’s February 1 military coup d’état and brutal military crackdown, our commitment to the people of Burma, including Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, remains unwavering. We will continue to support Bangladesh and other countries that have made the humanitarian gesture to receive refugees from Burma.
Many of those who led the military coup in Burma are the same individuals responsible for the atrocities against Rohingya, as well as atrocities and other human rights abuses against members of other ethnic and religious minority groups. The military junta must immediately stop the violence, release all those unjustly detained, restore Burma’s path to democracy, and implement ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus. We also call on the regime to allow immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need —including for the delivery of critical COVID-19 assistance.
The United States commends the many countries that have supported this response and that continue to work toward a just and durable solution for Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons. We commend the people and Government of Bangladesh, who have responded generously to the refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh. However, more assistance is required. We urge other donors to come forward now with additional funds to sustain and increase support for the Rakhine State/Rohingya refugee crisis.