Eric G. John, Deputy Assistant Secretary, East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific
March 29, 2006
While we press forward on all fronts for a transition to democracy through this strategy I have outlined, we are not ignoring the humanitarian needs of the Burmese people created by the failure of the regime to address health, education, and other pressing problems. We continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Burmese both in Thailand and inside Burma, in ways that do not bolster or otherwise benefit the regime. Our humanitarian assistance includes support for efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and assistance to refugees, migrants and IDPs. In fiscal year 2005, we provided over $10 million, primarily for assistance to Burmese living in Thailand, both inside and outside refugee camps. This includes $2 million provided to organizations inside Burma to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. Over all, in fiscal year 2005, the State Department provided over $14 million to address key humanitarian and democracy concerns. All of these funds are distributed to organizations independent of the Burmese regime.