U.S. Provides $2.73 Million in Humanitarian Assistance for Rakhine State, Burma

Naypyidaw, Burma

The United States is pleased to announce the provision of an additional $2.73 million in humanitarian assistance for displaced populations in Rakhine State.

Since early June 2012, violence in Rakhine State has resulted in at least 80 deaths and the displacement of 70,000 people. Many of the displaced are unwilling or unable to return home due to the continued threat of harm, as well as the loss of housing, property, and livelihoods. The United Nations, international relief organizations, local NGOs, and United States Government officials have reported critical unmet needs in many areas including food, health care, shelter, non-food items, and protection. Many of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Rakhine State lack access to safe drinking water, and more than half of surveyed relief camps lack sufficient latrines for the number of residents.

In response, the United States Government has provided an additional $2.73 million to UN responders in Rakhine State, including $2 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and $730,000 to the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The new funding will support UNICEF’s interventions in meeting the water, sanitation, and hygiene needs of displaced people in Rakhine through the distribution of basic hygiene items, provision of latrines and bathing areas, and the construction and maintenance of safe water supplies. In addition, UNICEF will support critical nutrition interventions, such as therapeutic feeding and nutritional support for pregnant and lactating women.

The new funding will also support UNHCR’s interventions in meeting the shelter, camp coordination and management, non-food items and protection needs of displaced people in Rakhine. UNHCR will focus its assistance on building temporary shelters (longhouses) in IDP camps in Sittwe and shelters for Rakhine in Maungdaw in response to the Burmese government’s request for this assistance.

This assistance will be provided to both Rakhine and Rohingya communities in Rakhine State and guided by the principles and rules of international humanitarian law, including the principle of non-discrimination. The United States appreciates the Burmese government’s welcome of UN support to both communities and hopes this assistance will not only help improve the living conditions of all residents, but also help to rebuild trust between the Rakhine and Rohingya communities to achieve a sustainable and equitable peace in Rakhine State.

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