Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, October 22, 2017 05:01:50 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Access greatest barrier to US response to Rohingya crisis

By
12th-Oct-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Adva Saldinger :
A lack of access is the biggest impediment to aid from the United States reaching the Rohingya Muslim minority in northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, U.S. officials said in a congressional hearing on Thursday.
After an August 25 attack on state security by Rohingya militants, the civilian population has been targeted by the military in the past six weeks in a violent surge that many have defined as ethnic cleansing. The unprecedented exodus - about 500,000 Rohingya crossed the border to Bangladesh in the past few weeks - is more rapid than those the world has seen in Iraq, Syria, or South Sudan. Bangladesh is now home to about 1 million Rohingya refugees, according to U.S. officials, and about 200,000 Rohingya are displaced within Myanmar.
"The challenge is not a lack of resources, but a lack of access," said V. Kate Somvongsiri, the acting deputy assistant administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. "Many USAID partners were forced to suspend work due to military action."
The U.S. cannot access northern Rakhine state, and even has challenges with access in the border region, but it continues some work in other parts of the country, including supporting civil society to counter hate speech, she said at the hearing.
As a result of the government and military crackdown on access for USAID and NGOs most of the U.S. efforts are supporting Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, though flooding there has slowed aid delivery and a recent report said the influx of new refugees is outpacing resources, creating further challenges and the potential for disease to spread.
The U.S. government allocated an additional $32 million in funds to address the Rohingya crisis in late September, with $28 million going to support refugees in Bangladesh and the remaining $4 million set to support efforts within Myanmar.
"This administration is undertaking all efforts to end suffering immediately," and has "made clear to officials [in Myanmar] that they need to take steps to stop violence," said W. Patrick Murphy, the U.S. State Department's deputy assistant secretary for Southeast Asia.
Several members of Congress asked whether those diplomatic conversations and the efforts the U.S. has undertaken have made a difference in ending the violence and enabling humanitarian efforts.
Murphy said there have been "some small signs of progress," including that the Red Cross was granted access to Rakhine state. The government and military in Myanmar had initially said that all aid had to be funneled through them. USAID, United Nations agencies, and most other NGOs are still prohibited from accessing the region.
The Red Cross, however, has said it will be unable to meet all the needs, said Mark Storella, the deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and so officials must allow access to U.N. agencies and NGOs that have experience working in the area.
In the meantime, there is "not much from a development assistance" perspective that USAID can do unless access and more information is provided, Somvongsiri said. The agency is calling for "unfettered access."
But access goes beyond convincing the country's leadership and requires working with local leaders so that false rumors fanned by the government don't lead to further attacks on aid shipments. A mob of hundreds attacked an aid shipment in Rakhine state last week, and while local authorities stopped the attack, it illustrates that some groups other than the Rohingya believe their needs are not being met, Murphy said.
Much of the hearing focused on the U.S. government's diplomatic response to the situation and how it could step up pressure on the government and military in Myanmar to stop the violence, allow aid to reach the Rohingya, and work toward a long-term peaceful solution.
Several tense moments came in exchanges about why administration officials stopped short of calling the situation ethnic cleansing, though U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley came close when she described it as "a brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority."   Among suggested sanctions, some pointed to publicly shaming Myanmar's leadership, but a common theme was one of urgency. Members of the committee demanded immediate action, asking the administration representatives what actions could bring results now.
"What can have an effect right now?" asked Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania. "People are dying today as we sit here."

(As a Devex Impact associate editor, Adva leads coverage of the intersection of business and international development).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Rains halt life: City fathers cannot cope, govt too happy with lies of success


WATERLOGGING has long been an inevitable part of our urban scenario that causes immense suffering to the city dwellers almost all the year round. After torrential rain, most parts of Dhaka, Chittagong, and other major cities go under knee-to-waist-deep water for several hours to few days. Despite, pouring millions of ...

Sports »

Injury ends Tamim's SA tour


Left handed opener Tamim Iqbal has been ruled out of the South Africa tour after aggravating a thigh injury. The 28-year-old opener is expected to return home tomorrow (Sunday) and will not be part of third ODI and the upcoming two-match T20Is series. The dashing opener sustained the injury to ...

Entertainment »

Have Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif fallen back in love?


They're one of the most loved on-screen couples of our times. Ever since Salman Khan introduced Katrina Kaif to Bollywood, his influence on her career has been immense. He's always looked after her and she's always sought advice from him. Even though either of them never made it public, it ...

Entertainment »

What happened when Aaradhya Bachchan met Rekha?


The Ambani's love throwing 'em lavish parties at their Mumbai residence Antilla. And off late, they've been throwing one party after another for our Bollywood celebs. Be it Ganpati or Diwali… the best of Bollywood heads to South Mumbai for the lavish festivities.  A tad late but an insider present ...

City »

SNAPSHOTS ON FLOOD SITUATION IN CITY


International »

UN has `tremendous potential` under new leadership: Trump


AP, Washington :President Donald Trump said Friday that the United Nations has "tremendous potential" but has been underutilized in recent years.Trump praised U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has led the 193-member world organization since January, during an Oval Office meeting. It was their first extended meeting.The White House said the ...

Football »

Giroud`s overhead kick gives Arsenal 1-0 win at Red Star


Agency :Olivier Giroud scored late in the second half for Arsenal to maintain its perfect Europa League campaign with a 1-0 win over 10-man Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.Five minutes after Milan Rodic was sent off for a second yellow card, Giroud struck with an overhead kick five minutes before ...

Entertainment »

Ali Fazal and Shriya Pilgaonkar come together for Web Series


Shriya Pilgaonkar who was appreciated for her Hindi film debut as Shahrukh Khan’s love interest in Fan and for her viral short film Jai Mata Di, is now going to be seen in a web show called Mirzapur produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani for a global online platform ...

Editorial »

Flood victims yet to get enough support


GOVERNMENT and aid agencies have provided emergency relief for flood victims but not sufficient to settle flood victims as per media reports quoting Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) researchers who tried to figure out the distribution system in the Haor areas. Over 37 lakh people were affected in the floods ...

City »

Islami Andolon Bangladesh brought out a rally in the city on Friday in protest against price hike of gas and electricity.


.

International »

Iranian Army chief, Assad discuss joint military strategy


Reuters, Beirut :Iran's military chief met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday during a visit to Damascus to set out a joint military strategy, Syria's state news agency reported, a sign of deepening Iranian influence that has alarmed Israel.General Mohammad Baqeri said Iran was determined to continue supporting the ...

Editorial »

Mr Xi`s new vision for China


CHINESE President Xi Jinping has laid out a far-reaching vision for a more prosperous nation and a dominating role for China in the world as the US President Donald Trump is working on a reverse way isolating his country from the world leadership role. In the domestic front he has ...

International »

May to urge EU leaders to speed up Brexit talks


AFP, Brussels :British Prime Minister Theresa May will appeal to European Union leaders at a crunch summit in Brussels on Thursday to push forward the deadlocked Brexit negotiations.At a meeting moved to a new venue at the last minute due to an eruption of toxic gas, May will urge her ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders recruit Brendon McCullum


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders have recruited wicketkeeper-batsman of New Zealand Brendon McCullum for the up coming fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur Riders Ishtiaq Sadek said to the newsmen, " We have confirmed that McCullum will join our squad on November 15. He will play ...

Entertainment »

Titaan Chowdhury hosting `Sampan`


'Sampan' is one of the popular programmes of Chittagong centre of Bangladesh Television of present time. Dance, music, magic, etc are presented in this show. Popular face of the small screen Titaan Chowdhury is hosting this programme. Positive side is Titaan is hailed from Chittagong. So it becomes easier for ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news