US pledges continued support to Rohingya refugees, host community in Cox’s Bazar | The Daily Star
09:36 PM, March 06, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:38 PM, March 06, 2021

US pledges continued support to Rohingya refugees, host community in Cox’s Bazar

The US has pledged continued support to the Rohingyas and the host community in Bangladesh, while also calling for the Myanmar military to restore power to the democratically-elected government and refrain from further violence.

"The international community has not forgotten the refugees or host communities supporting the Rohingya refugees," US Ambassador Miller said.

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He made the statement following a visit to Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar from March 3-4. Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer and Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki were also in the delegation that visited the camps.

The delegation met with government officials and international agencies assisting host communities and Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar to reiterate their unwavering support for Bangladesh's refugee response, according to a statement issued by the US embassy in Dhaka today. 

It also visited a disaster preparedness project, food programs, a learning center, a health facility, and spoke with community health volunteers about their role in the Covid-19 response in the Rohingya refugee camps and host communities.

The latest visit marks a year since the first cases of coronavirus were reported in Bangladesh and the first since the October 2020 Rohingya donor conference, which raised nearly $600 million in additional relief funds for Rohingya refugees and host communities.

Since the outbreak of violence in Myanmar in 2017, Australia has provided over $240 million, Japan has contributed $140 million; and the US has responded with assistance of $1.2 billion in humanitarian assistance to Rohingya and host communities in Cox's Bazar.

"We continue to work with international organisations to encourage Myanmar to create the conditions that allow for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees," said Miller.

"We strongly support all those calling on the Myanmar military to restore power to the democratically elected government, release all those who have been unjustly detained, and cease attacks on journalists, activists, and others.

"The military must exercise maximum restraint and refrain from additional violence."

Australian High Commissioner Bruer said they reiterate strong support for Bangladesh hosting displaced Rohingya. Last year, Covid created many new challenges, including here in Cox's Bazar.

"With case numbers steadying and with the vaccine in sight, it is as important as ever, for us to work together with the Bangladesh authorities to ensure humanitarian partners can deliver the much-needed assistance to both Rohingya and host communities."

Japanese Ambassador Ito said they visited the camps to further promote support for Bangladesh and to strengthen cooperation with international organisations and NGOs.

Japan will work towards early repatriation of the displaced people, while continuing humanitarian assistance in Cox's Bazar, as finding lasting solutions of this crisis is conducive to their pursuit of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

"We strongly hope that, as the coronavirus situation has been improving, comprehensive service delivery including education will restart soon."

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