US to provide $32 million in aid to Rohingya

New York: In what is to be the first response to Rohingya ‘mass exodus’ from the Trump administration, the United States will contribute nearly $32 million in humanitarian aid to help Rohingya Mus­lim refugees, the State Dep­art­ment said Wednesday.

The funding “reflects the US commitment to help address the unprecedented magnitude of suffering and urgent humanitarian needs of the Rohingya people,” said the State Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The State Department said the aid “will help provide emergency shelter, food security, nutritional assistance, health assistance, psycho-social support, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihoods, social inclusion, non-food items, disaster and crisis risk reduction, restoring family links, and protection to over 400,000 displaced persons.”

According to a report published in the Dawn, the Trump administration announ­ced the new funds as world leaders were converging in New York for annual United Nations Gen­eral Assembly meetings. Vice President Mike Pence lamented the “terrible savagery” of Myanmar’s security forces as he addressed a UN Security Council session on Wednesday focused on peacekeeping.

“We are witnessing a historic exodus,” Pence said, the Dawn reported.

“While we welcome Aung San Suu Kyi’s comments that returning refugees have nothing to fear, the United States of America renews our call on Burma’s security forces to end their violence immediately, and support diplomatic efforts for a long-term solution,” the report quotes Pence saying.

With Wednesday’s announcement, the total aid to Burmese refugees, including Rohingya Muslims, has risen to nearly $95 million in fiscal year 2017, Henshaw said.

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