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US Under Secretary Uzra Zeya announces $1m grant for child victims of trafficking

US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya has announced a $1 million grant from the State Department to the Freedom Fund and its partners.

This program will provide reintegration services to more than 500 children who have been exploited by human traffickers, UNB reports.

“Bangladesh is a vital partner in our goal to ensure a more free and open Indo-Pacific. Our partnership is anchored by shared democratic principles and respect for human rights,” Under Secretary Zeya said.

Zeya and a delegation of senior US government officials from the Department of State, including Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asia Donald Lu, traveled to Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar July 11-14 and met with senior government officials, civil society members, Rohingya refugees, and representatives from humanitarian organizations.

Under Secretary Zeya announced more than $74 million in additional US humanitarian assistance to support response efforts in Myanmar and Bangladesh, including nearly $61 million to support Rohingyas internally displaced in Myanmar, refugees in Bangladesh, and their host communities.

This brings total assistance to more than $2.1 billion since 2017 to help Rohingyas and host communities, according to the US Embassy in Dhaka.

While in Bangladesh, Under Secretary Zeya had productive meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, and other senior officials from the Government of Bangladesh.

She also met with labor activists, civil society leaders, and human rights defenders.