Administrator Green Travels to Asia: Bangladesh, Burma, and Thailand

Speeches Shim

Jamal Hossain takes his daughter Yasmin Akhter to school at Kutupalong Refugee Camp, Cox's Bazar. Photo by Tapash Paul for USAID

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green will travel to Bangladesh, Burma, and Thailand from May 13 to May 23. USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia Gloria Steele and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Ambassador Mark Storella will accompany Administrator Green as part of the delegation.

While in Bangladesh and Burma, Administrator Green plans to visit several sites where the U.S. Government is providing humanitarian assistance to displaced Rohingya and affected host communities. Administrator Green will also meet with Government of Bangladesh officials. In Burma, the Administrator will meet with civil-society representatives, students, and youth leaders, as well as Government of Burma officials to discuss steps needed to address the crises in Rakhine State and violence in other areas of the country.

Administrator Green will visit Bangkok from May 21 to 22 to meet with USAID Mission Directors from across Asia to discuss the implementation of the President's Indo-Pacific Strategy.

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Last updated: May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

This weekend, USAID Administrator Mark Green visited Rakhine State in Burma, where he saw first-hand the alarming reality that faces Rohingya communities. During his visit, the Administrator met with representatives of both Rohingya and Rakhine communities supported by USAID in Northern Rakhine and Sittwe to learn about the challenges they face including, lack of basic infrastructure. He was deeply troubled to see Rohingya denied basic access to education and livelihoods, and left dependent on emergency humanitarian relief for food and medical care. Rohingya communities also face harsh restrictions on freedom of movement that run counter to the core tenets of democracy and international human-rights principles. Administrator Green called on Burma's Government to take urgent, concrete steps to fulfill its pledge to allow for the safe, voluntary and dignified returns of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, and to fulfill the promise of the country's democratic transition by respecting the human rights, and dignity of all ethnic peoples, regardless of membership in particular ethnic groups or minority communities.

May 20, 2018

Well, first off, just how I felt. I mean, so much of what I've seen is quite frankly just deeply disturbing. You know, here for example, across the street, you're looking at all those very young children running around and such, and it suddenly dawned on me they were all born here. This is the only reality that they know, and I'm deeply disturbed at lack of sufficient education, the lack of access to proper healthcare, the lack of access to livelihoods, the lack of access to the rights of citizenship. One can only be disturbed.

And it's interesting, the State Counsellor has said that she supports voluntary, safe repatriation of the Muslims back to Rakhine, and what we've been urging all of us -- and I think she agrees -- the best way to encourage repatriation is to demonstrate how serious they all are in creating those conditions. Well, I would suggest in Northern Rakhine, that's obviously a great place where it could be done. So, there is an opportunity here, and where we were this morning, to show seriousness of purpose to make sure that Muslim families and their children can go to school, that they have freedom of association, that they have the right to move around, that they have access to good healthcare, and that they're not dependent upon the generosity of donors. So that, it seems to me, is vitally important. It's the best way to move forward.

May 19, 2018

First and foremost, thanks to all of you for being here. It shows that you agree with us on the importance of civil society and the importance of democracy. You have probably heard me say I believe in this country's bright future, in the unlimited potential, and that potential can best be reached, can only be reached, with a strong, vibrant civil society, strong media, and listening to the voices of the people. And so, again, I'm very grateful for your being here. It shows that you agree with that importance, that priority.

May 19, 2018

Good morning, everyone. It's good to be here with all of you. Thank you, Teresa, for that kind introduction. As she mentioned, this is my third visit to Myanmar. Every time I come here, I am impressed both with the beauty of your country and the generosity and the optimism of your people.

May 18, 2018

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green met today with Her Excellency Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of Burma in Naypyitaw. The Administrator voiced the United States' deep concern about the crisis in Rakhine State, which has displaced nearly 700,000 Rohingya since August 2017. He noted U.S. support for Burma's transition to a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic state, and noted the importance of resolving the crisis to this transition.