The United States says it is providing new assistance to Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, many of whom have fled violence for neighboring Bangladesh or have been internally displaced.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees fled violence and persecution in Myanmar in 2017.
The $155 million in additional funds will be used to sustain “critical efforts to support Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh and internally displaced Rohingya and other affected people in Burma.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press release.
“Our assistance will help meet the immediate needs of the nearly 900,000 refugees in Bangladesh who fled from horrific violence in Burma’s Rakhine State, including women and children,” Blinken said.
He said U.S. aid for those affected by the Myanmar crisis since 2017 now tops $1.3 billion.”
“The United States recognizes the cost and responsibility that the response has placed on host countries, especially Bangladesh,” Blinken said. “We will continue to support all countries in the region that prioritize protection of Rohingya refugees.”
Last week, the U.N. refugee agency said it is seeking $943 million to provide assistance for more than 880,000 Rohingya refugees and 472,000 Bangladeshis in the communities hosting them.
It appears unlikely the Rohingya refugees will be able to return home soon, as Myanmar is living through a political and social crisis in the wake of a Feb. 1 military coup.
Blinken said many military officials involved in the coup were also responsible for persecuting the Rohingya.