Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, December 16, 2017 09:03:30 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter
BREAKING NEWS:

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

International »

Trump promises `giant tax cut` as `Christmas gift` to Americans


PTI, Washington :US President Donald Trump today said the Congress has reached an agreement on tax legislation that will deliver more jobs, higher wages, and "massive tax relief" for American families and domestic companies.Trump recognised the tax reform as a campaign promise during his run-up to the 2016 presidential election, ...

Editorial »

Muslim leaders must continue to act together not to be ignored


WE welcome the OIC's (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) decision declaring East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine at a summit at Istanbul on Wednesday as the most appropriate and timely action to denounce US President Donald Trump's unilateral declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel. Their call ...

Football »

Players of A Level team, the champions of the Inter-Class Victory Day Football Competition of Manarat Dhaka International School & College with the teachers of Manarat Dhaka International School & College pose for a photo session at Manarat College field on Thursday.


Entertainment »

Meryl Streep is the most Golden Globe-nominated actor


Meryl Streep has begun her Hollywood award season dominance by bagging her 31st Golden Globe nomination, which is a record in the 75-year history of the award show. Streep won the nomination in the best actress, drama category for her portrayal of the Washington Post publisher Kay Graham in Steven ...

Entertainment »

Porimoni, Zayed Khan`s Antorjwala releases today


Entertainment Report :Today across the country in 175 cinema halls Malek Afsari directed and Porimoni-Zayed Khan acted much awaited movie Antorjwala is set to be released. On the occasion its releasing Pori and Zayed will enjoy the movie along with director Malek Afsari in Dhaka’s Modhumita, Shyamoli and Sony halls.While ...

City »

Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury handing over ICT Award to Director General of Health Department Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad for his contribution in using digital technology in health services at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the city on Tuesday.


Weekend Plus »

Quick recipes for the burger-lover in you


Weekend Plus Desk :If you are a burger lover or want to fix a burger quickly for uninvited guests, here are a few recipes which can save the day. Recipes by Chef Gaurav Chadha, in-house chef, Dr Oetker India Pvt Ltd:* Chicken and egg burger: Heat oil in a kadhai ...

Editorial »

Attack on New York City is disgusting


AN attempted terrorist attack in a New York City bus terminal by a US national of Bangladesh origin has caused widespread surprise and condemnation here and also in the Bangladesh community in the USA. The person Akayed Ullah at his 27 is a taxi driver in New York City and ...

International »

US embassy unlikely to move to Jerusalem before 2020: Tillerson


Xinhua, Washington :U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday the U.S. embassy in Israel was unlikely to be moved to Jerusalem before 2020, national media outlets reported."It's not going to be anything that happens right away," U.S. news daily the New York Times quoted Tillerson's speech at the State ...

Football »

Crystal Palace's James McArthur (centre) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team-mates during the English Premier League match between Crystal Palace versus Watford at Selhurst Park, London on Tuesday.


Sports »

A scene from the SA Group Premier Division Chess League at the Auditorium of the National Sports Council Tower on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Akshay shares the new poster of PadMan while giving the hint about trailer


Akshay Kumar is gearing up for his next release PadMan which is all set to release on Republic Day, 26th January 2018. Recently Akshay is on spree of releasing new posters of the films. A day before yesterday Akshay shared a poster of the film in which he can be ...

City »

DU VC Prof Aktaruzzaman speaking at a seminar on' Mass Media Vs Social Media at TSC organised by the Dhaka University Journalists Association on Wednesday .


Editorial »

Colleges without enrolment should cease to exist


OVER 1,500 colleges are in fear of closure as they have failed to fulfil the condition of the Education Ministry in terms of students' admission at Higher Secondary level, The concern is genuine because opening of new colleges and also their closure is not small thing, as it impacts lives ...

Cricket »

A good number of spectators arrived at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium to watch the final match of the AKS Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Twenty20 Cricket between Rangpur Riders and Dhaka Dynamites at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Tuesday.


 
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