For Immediate Release
Monday, May 21, 2018
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: [email protected]
The following is attributable to Spokesperson Clayton M. McCleskey:
This weekend, USAID Administrator Mark Green visited Rakhine State in Burma, where he saw first-hand the alarming reality that faces Rohingya communities. During his visit, the Administrator met with representatives of both Rohingya and Rakhine communities supported by USAID in Northern Rakhine and Sittwe to learn about the challenges they face including, lack of basic infrastructure. He was deeply troubled to see Rohingya denied basic access to education and livelihoods, and left dependent on emergency humanitarian relief for food and medical care. Rohingya communities also face harsh restrictions on freedom of movement that run counter to the core tenets of democracy and international human-rights principles. Administrator Green called on Burma’s Government to take urgent, concrete steps to fulfill its pledge to allow for the safe, voluntary and dignified returns of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, and to fulfill the promise of the country’s democratic transition by respecting the human rights, and dignity of all ethnic peoples, regardless of membership in particular ethnic groups or minority communities.
The Administrator met with representatives of multiple non-governmental organizations that are providing assistance to all communities in Rakhine State, and are working to build trust between communities torn apart by violence and prejudice. He commended them for their heroic work, and reinforced the U.S. commitment to pressing for a sustainable, peaceful solution to the crisis that protects the dignity of vulnerable communities. Administrator Green’s visit also underscores the importance of humanitarian access as a key step toward addressing the crisis and mitigating suffering, as well as the importance of media access to provide open and credible information on measures being taken to improve the lives of all communities.
U.S. Ambassador to Burma Scot Marciel and USAID Mission Director Teresa McGhie joined Administrator Green in leading a U.S. delegation that also included USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia Gloria Steele, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Mark Storella.