US announces $75 million support for Rohingyas in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Jan 26 (EFE).- The United States development agency USAID Thursday announced an additional $75 million in humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The aid agency said the funds would help Bangladesh meet ongoing needs amid increasing food and fuel prices.

“With this new funding, USAID will work with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide critically needed food and nutrition assistance, infrastructure maintenance, disaster risk reduction, and logistics support,” a US embassy statement said.

The funding will provide critical and life-saving assistance to nearly 600,000 people.

WFP has said rising food prices continue to reduce the purchasing power of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, exacerbating food insecurity in the district.

In Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya sub-district, where most of the Rohingya refugees live, the cost of a typical food basket increased by 5 percent between July and August 2022 and 23 percent between August 2021 and 2022.

The spike came as the Russian invasion of Ukraine affected global fertilizer, food, and fuel prices.

Simultaneously, the purchasing power generated by a daily wage for typical labor in Ukhiya decreased by 7 percent between July and August 2022 and 14 percent between August 2021 and 2022.

“The United States is committed to helping Rohingya, and the USAID will continue to support them in their time of need, as well as the generous communities in Bangladesh who host them,” said the statement.

According to the Rohingya Refugee Crisis Joint Response Plan 2022, different organizations supporting Rohingyas in Bangladesh have received $431.8 million – just 49 percent of the total requirement of $881 million.

The US contributed $220.4 million, or 51 percent of the total amount.

Bangladesh is home to over 925,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled neighboring Myanmar, including around 774,000 who escaped after the military launched a campaign in 2017 described as ethnic cleansing and possible genocide by the United Nations.

In recent months, some 28,000 Rohingya refugees have shifted to Bhasan Char, a previously uninhabited island in the Bay of Bengal. EFE


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