Statement by Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson

The United States remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis in Burma’s Rakhine State.  Violent mob attacks on United Nations and nongovernmental organization offices worsened an already troubling situation stemming from restriction of the operations of a major humanitarian organization that provided health care services to 140,000 internally displaced persons and hundreds of thousands of additional individuals in need.  Currently, large segments of the population do not have access to adequate medical services, water, sanitation, and food.  The government has so far failed to provide adequate security and the travel authorizations necessary for the humanitarian aid workers to resume their life-saving services.

We call on the Burmese government to rescind travel restrictions and to facilitate the appropriate travel authorizations to the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations so they may resume services to all vulnerable people in Rakhine State.  We further call on the government to take meaningful steps to provide security for all humanitarian workers and residents of Rakhine State.

We also urge Burma to take steps to ensure its census is conducted in a manner consistent with international standards and the government’s commitment to national reconciliation and the peaceful resolution of ethnic and religious differences.