Dhaka, May 19 : The United States has announced to provide nearly $155 million in new humanitarian assistance, much of which will go towards the 2021 Bangladesh Joint Response Plan.With this new funding, our total humanitarian assistance for this response reaches more than $1.3 billion since 2017, including more than $1.1 billion for programmes inside Bangladesh.
”This new funding allows our partners to continue providing life-saving assistance to the nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees who have taken refuge in Bangladesh—including the more than 740,000 Rohingya who, in 2017, were forced to flee ethnic cleansing and other horrific atrocities and abuses in Burma’s Rakhine State,” said Nancy Izzo Jackson, Senior Bureau Official at Population, Refugees and Migration wing of the US State Department.
This funding also provides support for more than 472,000 Bangladeshi host community members impacted by this displacement, she said.
The US joined the government of Bangladesh, the UN, and IOM in calling for durable solutions for the Rohingya people.
US humanitarian assistance for this crisis supports all sectors of the response, including education, emergency telecommunications, food security, health, nutrition, protection, shelter and relief items, and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
“We applaud humanitarian actors for a well-coordinated humanitarian response, including the prevention and response to the Covid-19 pandemic, environmental programmes, and the planned Myanmar Curriculum Pilot program,” Jackson said.
The US commended the many countries that have supported this response, but more assistance is required to meet the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
“We, therefore, urge other donors to come forward now with additional funds to sustain and increase support for the response,” said the US senior official.
The United States recognised the challenges and responsibilities that the response has placed on the government and people of Bangladesh and reiterated the continued commitment of the international community to addressing this crisis.
In the aftermath of the February 1 coup and the brutal military crackdown in Myanmar, commitment to the people of Myanmar, including Rohingya refugees, is unwavering, said the US official.
“We will continue to support Bangladesh as well as other countries in the region that have made the humanitarian gesture to receive Rohingya refugees. We continue to call on all states to provide humanitarian assistance and ensure protection of vulnerable Rohingya,” she said.
The US official said they are pressing the military regime to stop the violence, release all those unjustly detained, and immediately restore Myanmar’s path to democracy, as we promote accountability for all those responsible for the coup and human rights abuses.
“We urge Bangladesh to continue protecting refugees, particularly at this time of increased risk to them, and acknowledge its assurance that it will not return them to a country where they could face persecution and violence,” she said.
On Bhasan Char, the United States welcomed the dialogue between the UN and the government of Bangladesh, and encouraged continued close consultations.
“We reiterate any relocations of refugees to Bhasan Char must be voluntary and refugees’ right to freedom of movement must be respected,” she said.
The US urged Bangladesh to grant the UN independent access to refugees on the island, as well as approval to conduct a comprehensive technical and protection assessment, reports UNB.