US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller on Tuesday assured Bangladesh of continuing his country’s support to address the losses Bangladesh incurred on environmental front due to the presence of huge Rohingyas in the coastal district.
The newly appointed US Ambassador, who presented his credentials to President Md Abdul Hamid on November 29, also laid emphasis on creating conditions for the safe and voluntary return of Rohingyas in a dignified manner with their basic rights in place.
“US position is that we want a repatriation process that’s safe, dignified and voluntary…..that remains our position,” Ambassador Miller told reporters after visiting Rohingya camp in Balukhali area of Ukhia upazila.
He said it is up to Myanmar to create those conditions on the ground to make sure when Rohingyas go back to Myanmar, they return to their places of origin in a safe manner.
Ambassador Miller said the US government will continue to support both the Rohingyas and the host communities.
He said one of the things that strikes him is on how people are working together internationally and locally to support each other; not just the Rohingyas but all the Bangladeshis and all the national organisations. “That’s really heartwarming, inspiring and encouraging.”
The US envoy said it is “incredible generosity” of the people of Bangladesh and the government as they have opened their hearts and border to these Rohingya people who were “forcibly” relocated to Bangladesh from Myanmar.
The US envoy arrived here on Tuesday morning on a three-day visit. This is his first visit to Cox’s Bazar and Rohingya camps.
In the afternoon, he visited Rohingyas living on zero line near Bandarban and talked to Rohingya leaders there.
He also visited Balukhali transit camp, Kutupalong camp and saw activities run by the USAID there.
Ambassador Miller also talked to Rahingyas and officials of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The United States has ‘remained committed’ to helping the Rohingyas and commended the government and the people of Bangladesh, who have responded swiftly and generously to the Rohingyas arriving in Bangladesh, on several occasions.
In October, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced more than $185 million in additional humanitarian assistance for those in Bangladesh and Myanmar who have been affected by the Rohingya crisis.
This additional funding brings US humanitarian assistance in response to the Rohingya crisis to nearly $389 million since the outbreak of violence in Myanmar in August 2017.
According to the US Embassy in Dhaka, the new funding includes $156 million for Rohingyas and host communities in Bangladesh to support the implementation of critical emergency services, including protection, emergency shelter, food, water, sanitation, healthcare, and psychosocial support.
Since August 2017, more than 725,000 Rohingyas have fled violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State, crossing the border into Bangladesh. Bangladesh now hosts over one million Rohingyas.
Ambassador Miler who arrived here on November 18 was sworn in as the US Ambassador to Bangladesh at the Department of State in the United States.
Miller was confirmed as US Ambassador to Bangladesh by the US Senate on October 11.