United States Announces Nearly $155 Million in New Funding for the Burma and Bangladesh Regional Crisis
Today, the United States announced nearly $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent needs of Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh and people affected by ongoing violence in Burma’s Rakhine, Kachin, Shan, and Chin States. This announcement coincides with the launch of the 2021 Bangladesh Joint Response Plan. The new funding includes more than $80 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), alongside nearly $74 million from the U.S. Department of State. The United States remains the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the crisis in Burma, Bangladesh, and the region, and this latest announcement brings total U.S. assistance to more than $1.3 billion since the outbreak of violence in Rakhine State, Burma, in August 2017.
This new funding will allow partners to continue providing humanitarian assistance on both sides of the Burma-Bangladesh border. U.S. assistance will provide emergency food and nutrition assistance, emergency telecommunications, essential shelter, safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene services, and protection support. USAID also continues to support COVID-19 response efforts in both countries.
The United States has repeatedly and strongly condemned the February 1 military coup in Burma. The U.S. continues to call on Burma to provide unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to all people who require assistance across the country, including to conflict-affected communities, in protracted displacement sites, and in areas where there has been an escalation in conflict since the military coup. The U.S. advocates for a peaceful resolution to this crisis that creates the conditions for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees and other displaced people to their places of origin, or to a place of their choosing.
In Bangladesh, USAID is concerned by the shrinking humanitarian and protection space in Cox’s Bazar and the increased restrictions on humanitarian partners, which impacts the delivery of life-saving services. The United States encourages the Government of Bangladesh to establish greater access to livelihoods and educational opportunities for Rohingya refugees and reinitiate protection activities, as well as adjust fencing to facilitate prompt and safe disaster response especially following the devastation of the March 22 fires.
The U.S. commends the many countries that have provided support to this response. More assistance is required to meet the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable in Bangladesh and Burma. Given the tremendous funding needs for this crisis, the US urges other donors to come forward now with their financial contributions.