The United States Announces New Assistance to Respond to the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis
Statement By Secretary Antony J. Blinken
May 18, 2021
At the launch of the 2021 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, the United States announced nearly $155 million in new assistance to sustain critical efforts to support Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh and internally displaced Rohingya and other affected people in Burma. Our assistance will help meet the immediate needs of the nearly 900,000 refugees in Bangladesh who fled from horrific violence in Burma’s Rakhine State, including women and children.
As the leading contributor of assistance in response to the Rohingya refugee crisis, the United States is helping to support the victims of atrocities and other vulnerable people in need. With this new funding, our total humanitarian aid for those affected by the crisis in Burma, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region since the brutal violence by the Burmese military in August 2017 is more than $1.3 billion, including more than $1.1 billion for programs inside Bangladesh. Given the tremendous funding needs for this crisis, we welcome the contributions that some member states have made to this humanitarian response in recent months. We encourage the broader international community to do more and urge other countries and stakeholders to contribute as well.
The United States recognizes the cost and responsibility that the response has placed on host countries, especially Bangladesh. We will continue to support all countries in the region that prioritize protection of Rohingya refugees. In the aftermath of the February 1 military coup and the brutal military crackdown in Burma, we remain committed to addressing the Rohingya crisis, recognizing that the coup leaders are many of the same individuals responsible for previous human rights abuses, including atrocities against Rohingya. We continue to work with international partners to support justice and accountability for all those responsible for the coup and human rights abuses.
We continue to advocate for the rights of Rohingya and urge their inclusion in discussions about their future. We also continue to underscore the need for unhindered humanitarian access to all people requiring assistance in Burma. We urge Bangladesh to take steps to protect refugees, particularly at this time of increased risk to them, and not create conditions that would force them to return to a country where they could face persecution and violence.
The United States is committed to promoting peace, security, and respect for the human rights and human dignity of all people in Burma, including Rohingya.