US announces USD 180 million aid for Rohingya refugees; calls on Myanmar to stop violence, release the unjustly detained

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Washington: The United States has earmarked an additional USD 180 million to aid more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced nearly USD 180 million in additional humanitarian assistance for those affected by the Rakhine State/Rohingya refugee crisis in Burma, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region.

"With this new funding, our total humanitarian assistance for this response reaches more than USD 1.5 billion since August 2017, when more than 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee ethnic cleansing and other horrific atrocities and abuses in Burma's [Myanmar's] Rakhine State to safety in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh," Price said in a press release on Wednesday.

The state department lauded humanitarian actors for a strong and well-coordinated humanitarian response, which includes preventing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup on 1 February, when the Myanmar military led by Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered mass protests and was met by deadly violence.

US state department said that the military junta must immediately stop the violence, release all those unjustly detained, restore Burma's path to democracy, and implement ASEAN's Five Point Consensus. "We also call on the regime to allow immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need €" including for the delivery of critical COVID-19 assistance," the spokesperson said

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