Rohingya refugees have a meal at a temporary shelter provided by the Aceh local government in Ladong, Aceh Besar, Indonesia, 09 January 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/HOTLI SIMANJUNTAK

US announces $116 million aid for Myanmar, Bangladesh and Rohingyas

Bangkok, Sep 22 (EFE).- The United States has announced an additional $116 million humanitarian aid package for Myanmar and Bangladesh, including $74 million for Rohingya refugees, an ethnic Muslim minority persecuted by the Myanmar army.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the package in a statement late Thursday, adding that the figure brings the assistance provided by Washington to $2.2 billion since August 2017, when around 740,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh following a military campaign against them.

The United Nations is investigating the campaign by the Myanmar army for possible genocide.

The assistance includes the provision of clean water, health care, education, shelter and psychological support.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR in August called on the international community to continue financial and political support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, on the sixth year of their flight from Myanmar.

According to the humanitarian agency, more than 742,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since the violence broke out in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Myanmar authorities do not recognize this ethnic Muslim minority group as citizens.

Most of the refugees who fled have been living in camps in Bangladesh, whose total number have now crossed one million.

UNHCR warned that the majority of refugees remain in camps on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, where they are “extremely vulnerable” to cyclones, floods, landslides, fires and other effects of climate change.

The UN further observed that this group suffered from lack of funds especially given that food aid to refugees had been reduced.

Moreover, Myanmar is mired in a deep political, social and economic crisis following a military coup on Feb. 1, 2021. EFE