On Tuesday, June 2 in Aceh, Indonesia, Anne C. Richard, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, spoke to media from Kuala Cangkoi (TPI Lapang camp):
“This is my second time visiting Indonesia, and I am happy to be in this beautiful country although what brought me here is a very difficult and complex situation – namely, the currently irregular migrant boat crisis in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
The United States is committed to supporting regionally-led efforts to address the challenges of irregular migration.
The United States looks forward to continuing to consult with governments in the region regarding their needs and the best ways the U.S. can support them in providing humanitarian assistance for vulnerable migrants in the region.
I would like to thank the government of Aceh for stepping forward and assisting the migrants that came to your shores. I would like to particularly thank the local fisherman who played such a direct and critical role in rescuing the migrants who in some cases have been at sea for months at a time.
During this trip to Indonesia, I will meet with the Office of the Vice President and others to discuss the crisis at hand. I will also meet with leaders of UNHCR and IOM to discuss the refugee and migrant situation in the region.
As I announced during the May 29 Special Meeting in Bangkok, the United States will contribute $3 million to IOM in support of its appeal to address the irregular migrants as sea crisis. This assistance to vulnerable migrants will complement the nearly $109 million in humanitarian assistance that the U.S. Government is providing for vulnerable Burmese, including the Rohingya, in Burma and the region since Fiscal Year 2014.
As a lead to both resettlement and refugee assistance worldwide, the United States is — and has always been — prepared to take a leading role in any UNHCR-led multi-country resettlement effort for the most vulnerable.”