2023 Bangladesh Joint Response Plan
Statement by the United States
As Delivered Virtually by PRM Assistant Secretary Julieta Valls Noyes
In 2017, when hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled unimaginable cruelty in Burma, the international community committed to keep them safe, provide humanitarian assistance, and pursue lasting solutions to ease their plight. And yet, nearly six years later, Rohingya face frequent violence in camps in Bangladesh and cuts to food rations. We cannot fail them now.
Today, I want to reaffirm our solidarity with Rohingya and announce that the United States will contribute nearly $26 million dollars in new humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and the region, for vulnerable people in Burma, and for communities hosting refugees from Burma.
Our humanitarian partners in Bangladesh are working hard to use donor funding more efficiently and sustainably, but without fundamental shifts in policy toward Rohingya refugees, their options are limited. And that is why I call on Bangladesh to reexamine its restrictions on allowing refugees to earn a living.
Restrictions on livelihoods deny Rohingya the ability to provide for themselves and the sense of purpose many of us get from our vocations. These restrictions prevent Rohingya from contributing to the communities that generously welcomed them and limit the chances of a sustainable, voluntary repatriation to Rakhine State when conditions allow.
The Skills Development Framework is a good first step. The next step must be bolder. Otherwise, I fear we’ll face a new crisis in the camps as more Rohingya turn to desperate coping measures.
The United States is committed to this response. We will work toward an inclusive and democratic future for Burma that respects the rights of Rohingya. We will pursue justice for the victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. And we will support Rohingya refugees and the generous Bangladeshi communities hosting them.
I want to end by saying that we’re proud to be among the countries now welcoming Rohingya from Bangladesh. And we’ve welcomed more than 10,000 Rohingya, to the United States, from the region since 2009.