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2024-06-12 17:27:28

Rohingya refugee response: US will remain Bangladesh’s steadfast partner

Online Desk

Rohingya refugee response: US will remain Bangladesh’s steadfast partner

The United States (US) has said it will continue to advocate with countries in the region, and at the United Nations, for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Myanmar so that the Rohingyas and others displaced by the violence can safely return home.

"Until that day arrives, however, Bangladesh should know that the United States will remain a steadfast partner in the Rohingya refugee humanitarian response," said Regional Refugee Coordinator at the US Embassy, Mackenzie Rowe, during a small group briefing at the American Centre on Wednesday, news agency UNB reports.

Responding to a question, she said they have been working with many international partners to respond to this regional crisis since 2017.  

The regional refugee coordinator said whatever happens within the camps and affects humanitarian assistance is a concern for them.

“Any issue within the camps that would affect humanitarian assistance is always a concern. We want to make sure that our assistance gets to those who are most in need. And we are certainly working with our partners, and others who are concerned to hopefully address this with all partners who wish to work with us,” she elaborated.         

Responding to a question on the accountability front, Rowe said accountability for human rights abuses is an essential foundation for building a democratic society characterized by the rule of law.

She said that the United States remains committed to leading the international effort to hold those responsible for human rights abuses against civilians accountable.

The US is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and the region.

Total US funding for the crisis has reached nearly $2.4 billion since August 2017, when more than 740,000 Rohingyas fled from genocide, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

"Of that total, the United States has contributed nearly $1.9 billion to support refugees and host communities in Bangladesh alone," Rowe said.      

She underscored that Bangladesh does not stand alone. "The United States, along with many other governments, UN agencies, and NGOs are partnering with you to help Bangladesh assist the Rohingya refugees," she added.

Rowe said the international community, including the United States, thanks the people and government of Bangladesh for generously hosting refugees until they can safely and voluntarily return to their homeland.

“It is fitting that ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20, we take time to acknowledge the plight of those who had been forced to flee their homes because of violence and persecution,” she said.     

The US official said their contributions provide life-saving assistance and protection, including access to education and training opportunities that help Rohingyas develop skills to support a voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return to Myanmar when conditions allow; strengthening disaster preparedness across the Cox’s Bazar region; and expanding access to healthcare and clean water for Rohingyas and host communities.

Rowe said they are willing to work with their partners and with the government of Bangladesh to hopefully find a positive way forward.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.3 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char.


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