Ongoing U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for the Rakhine State Crisis

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 23, 2018

Today, Acting Secretary of State John J. Sullivan announced $50 million in additional humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people fleeing the Rakhine State crisis. This brings the United States’ response to the crisis in Burma and Bangladesh to more than $163 million since August 2017, and total humanitarian assistance for displaced people in and from Burma to more than $255 million since the start of FY 2017. The Acting Secretary of State announced this new funding at the G7 Summit in Toronto, where he stood united with other G7 members to denounce human rights violations and abuses, including atrocities, committed in Rakhine State.

Nearly 700,000 people, mostly Rohingya women and children, have fled violence in Rakhine State, Burma since August. The total number of refugees hosted in Bangladesh is now approximately one million.

The United States continues to provide life-saving assistance that will support refugees and Bangladeshi host communities to provide protection, emergency shelter, water, sanitation, health care, and psychosocial support for people affected by the crisis, as well as to prepare for the impending monsoon and cyclone seasons, in order to help prevent loss of life, shelter, and access to critical services.

We applaud the Government of Bangladesh’s generosity in responding to this humanitarian crisis and appreciate its continued efforts to ensure assistance reaches people in need. We continue to urge all actors to play a constructive role in resolving this crisis – ending violence in Burma and restoring the rule of law, immediately granting humanitarian and media access, guaranteeing those who want to voluntarily return to their homes are able to do so in a safe and dignified manner, and addressing the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine State. To this end, we call for the Burmese Government to immediately implement the recommendations of the 2017 Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.

This $50 million contribution reflects strong bipartisan support for this urgent crisis by the U.S. Congress, for which we are grateful. We urge other donors to join in providing the additional humanitarian assistance still needed for those affected by the crisis.

For further information, please contact PRM Press at PRMPress@state.gov.