With this new funding, the US’ total assistance for those affected by the Rakhine State and Rohingya crisis has reached nearly USD 2.1 billion since August 2017..reports Asian Lite News
The US State Department has announced nearly USD 26 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, for those people in Burma affected by ongoing violence, and for communities hosting refugees from Burma.
With this new funding, the US’ total assistance for those affected by the Rakhine State and Rohingya crisis has reached nearly USD 2.1 billion since August 2017, when over 7,40,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, according to a press statement issued by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday, during the launch of the 2023 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in Bangladesh.
According to the official press statement, the new funding includes nearly USD 24 million for programs specifically in Bangladesh, providing life-sustaining support to nearly 9,80,000 Rohingya refugees, many of them survivors of genocide, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing, and support to nearly 5,40,000 host community members in Bangladesh.
The assistance, according to Blinken, sees to it that children and young adults have access to education and vocational training, provides families with food and clean water, strengthens sanitation systems to prevent the spread of disease, supports the protection of Rohingya refugees’ human rights and well-being, bolsters disaster preparedness, and helps combat the effects of climate change.
The US urged other donors to contribute robustly to the humanitarian response and increase support to those driven from and affected by violence in Burma.
The United States recognises the generosity of the government and people of Bangladesh and other countries hosting refugees from Burma in the region particularly given that this is the sixth year of this protracted crisis, according to the statement by Blinken.
“We are committed to finding lasting solutions to this crisis, including the safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return and reintegration of displaced Rohingya when conditions in Burma allow. An essential step in ending this crisis is ending the military regime’s brutal repression of its people and agreeing to a pathway to an inclusive multiparty democracy. We commend our humanitarian partners for the lifesaving work they continue to do every day,” read the US Department of State press statement.
UN Human Rights Chief Volker Turk recently called for a coordinated regional approach to protect the thousands of desperate Rohingya who risk their lives by undertaking perilous sea voyages.
“More than 2,400 Rohingya have sought to leave Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2022 alone, and I am deeply saddened that over 200 have reportedly lost their lives on the way. Recent reports indicate that overcrowded and unsafe boats carrying Rohingyas have been left to drift for days on end without any help,” Turk said in a statement released by the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.
“As the crisis at sea continues, I urge countries in the region to put in place a coordination mechanism to ensure proactive search and rescue, the disembarkation of Rohingya refugees on their territories, and their effective protection,” he added, noting that some States had already provided assistance.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights called on countries in the region and globally to help Bangladesh support the over one million Rohingya refugees who have sought protection there since 2017.
“Clearly, an urgent solution must be found to enable the voluntary return of all Rohingya, with full respect for their dignity and human rights as full and equal citizens of Myanmar,” he added. (ANI)