The announcement follows the first visit to Rohingya camps since the US Secretary of State determined that members of the Myanmar military had committed genocide.
Dhaka, March 29, 2022 – Following his first visit to Cox’s Bazar, US Ambassador Peter Haas announced that the United States would provide $152 million in new humanitarian assistance to nearly one million Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh. .
“This brings the total we have provided since August 2017 to $1.7 billion,” Ambassador Haas said. “Of this new funding, $125 million is for programs inside Bangladesh – for Rohingya refugees and affected Bangladeshi communities.”
Ambassador Haas traveled to Cox’s Bazar March 27-29 to meet with local government officials and see how U.S. programs continue to help Rohingya refugees and host communities by providing health care, a training to fight fires in the camps, protecting the environment, building resilience to climate disasters, and ensuring safe food distribution.
“I am encouraged by the strong collaborative relationship with humanitarian agencies working in the camps and host communities in Cox’s Bazar,” said Ambassador Haas.
The ambassador’s trip was the first visit since US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on March 21 that he had determined that members of the Burmese military had committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya.
While in Cox’s Bazar, Ambassador Haas visited Commissioner Shah Rezwan Hayat of the Refugee and Repatriation Assistance Commission (RRRC) and Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate Md. Mamunur Rashid. The ambassador welcomed the resumption of regular activities in the camps, in particular the reopening of the learning centers, which provide education and ensure that the Rohingyas do not lose a generation to learn.
Ambassador Haas also visited a UNHCR program that engages refugees and host communities to rehabilitate the environment, clean up and prevent pollution of waterways, increase resilience to climate change by reducing the risk of disaster related to landslides, floods and fires. The program emphasized nature-based solutions such as planting trees to stabilize hillsides, managing water quality and creating water reservoirs.
Ambassador Haas also saw volunteer firefighters using newly developed U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mobile firefighting units equipped with backpacks with pumps and carrying capabilities during a training demonstration. to fire control. The USAID project is producing and delivering 450 mobile fire units and 3,000 20-liter firefighting backpacks to camps and will train 3,000 refugee volunteer firefighters to use and maintain the equipment, helping to prevent and fight fires. This project will be extended to all camps by 2023.
He also visited a field laboratory, a health center accessible to members of the host community and a distribution center for liquefied petroleum gas which reduces the need to collect firewood, reduces pressure on local forests. and protects women and girls at risk of gender-based violence when collecting firewood.
The Ambassador’s delegation also saw how a USAID and World Food Program-funded program provides emergency food aid to Rohingya refugees with monthly e-vouchers used to purchase basic food items at 21 outlets. owned by local host community vendors, including fresh eggs, vegetables, and fruits.
In fiscal year 2021 alone, the U.S. government spent nearly $302 million on humanitarian assistance programs for the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.