March 4, 2020
As-salamu Alaykum. Thank you all for being here.
Yesterday in Geneva, at the launch of the 2020 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, the United States announced more than $59 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, and internally displaced Rohingya and members of other affected communities in Myanmar.
The United States remains the leading contributor to the humanitarian response as we have been each year since the outbreak of violence in August 2017. With this new funding announcement, our total humanitarian assistance reaches almost $820 million, of which nearly $693 million is for programs inside Bangladesh.
U.S. funding, including yesterday’s announcement, helps address the emergency needs of more than 900,000 refugees in Bangladesh, as well as the needs of the Bangladeshi communities in Cox’s Bazar affected by the ongoing crisis. The U.S. government remains committed to ensuring humanitarian and development assistance continues to reach Bangladeshi communities which have so generously hosted Rohingya refugees. We are proud the 2020 Joint Response Plan reflects an increased policy focus on their challenges.
The United States cannot meet this crisis’ tremendous needs alone. We welcome the contributions many donors have made in recent months. We continue to call on other countries to contribute as well. We commend the Government of Bangladesh’s generosity in responding to this crisis and its continued efforts to ensure assistance reaches the affected populations – both Rohingya and Bangladeshi.
We also continue to call on Myanmar to create the conditions that would allow for voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable returns of Rohingya, based on the informed consent of those who have been forcibly displaced. And, critically, to ensure unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to all people requiring assistance.