At the launch of the 2022 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in Bangladesh, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas announced more than $152 million in additional humanitarian assistance for those in Bangladesh, Burma, and elsewhere in the region affected by the Burmese military’s genocide, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing against Rohingya. With this new funding, our total assistance for this response reaches more than $1.7 billion since August 2017, when over 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This announcement demonstrates our solidarity with Rohingya and the generous communities hosting them as well as our ongoing commitment to strengthening the international response to the Rohingya crisis and the escalating violence in Burma.
The humanitarian assistance includes nearly $51 million from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and more than $101 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). With more than $125 million for programs specifically in Bangladesh, this funding will enable our humanitarian partners to provide life-saving assistance to the over 920,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. It also provides support to more than 540,000 affected members of the local host community in Bangladesh. This assistance helps ensure children and young adults have access to education and vocational training, provides families with food, healthcare, access to clean water and sanitation to prevent the spread of disease, supports the protection of Rohingya refugees’ human rights and well-being, strengthens disaster preparedness, and helps combat the effects of climate change. We commend our humanitarian partners for a strong and well-coordinated response as this crisis approaches its fifth year.
The United States recognizes that Bangladesh and its people have taken on an enormous responsibility in hosting refugees. We are working with the Government of Bangladesh, Rohingya, and people within Burma toward finding solutions to this crisis, including the safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return and reintegration of Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons when conditions in Burma allow. Secretary Blinken has determined that members of the Burmese military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya, and that many of those responsible for these atrocities are the same people who led the military coup in 2021 and ongoing violence across Burma. We are relentlessly pressuring Burma’s military regime to stop its violence and return to the path of democracy. At the same time, we also must expand education and livelihood opportunities, including cash-for-work programs and access to local markets, for Rohingya refugees in the region. Education and income-generating activities are among the most effective methods to create safer refugee camps in Bangladesh.
The United States remains committed to delivering aid to Rohingya, and we welcome the generous pledges made by other donors at today’s event. However, more support is desperately needed. We urge other donors to come forward now with additional funds to sustain and increase support for the Rakhine State/Rohingya refugee crisis and those suffering from the escalating violence perpetrated by the genocidal military in Burma today.