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 Home > News & Policies > August 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 7, 2008

Fact Sheet: The United States Supports the People of Burma

     Fact sheet President Bush Visits with Burma Activists
     Fact sheet In Focus: Trip to Asia 2008

President Bush And Mrs. Bush Are Committed To Helping The People Of Burma Achieve The Freedom They Deserve

Today, President Bush and Mrs. Bush are continuing their efforts to keep international attention on the ongoing humanitarian and human rights situation in Burma.  In Bangkok, Mae La, and Mae Sot, they are meeting with activists and other leaders who are working to assist the people of Burma.  President Bush is receiving a briefing on the United States' response to Cyclone Nargis, having lunch with Burmese freedom activists, and conducting a roundtable with media outlets to discuss Burma.  Mrs. Bush is traveling to the Thai-Burma border to visit with refugees at the Mae La refugee camp and the Mae Tao Clinic.

  • The United States has provided significant humanitarian assistance to the people of Burma to assist the victims of Cyclone Nargis.  From May 12 to June 22, the United States conducted 185 airlift flights of U.S., Thai, U.N., and non-governmental organizational emergency relief supplies from Thailand to Burma.  U.S. goods benefitted approximately 450,000 people, and were part of the $50 million in U.S. Government assistance for the cyclone relief effort.
  • In Fiscal Year 2008, the United States is providing over $65.5 million to help the people of Burma in the areas of democracy-building, humanitarian assistance, health, and education.
  • The United States is providing $12.7 million in Fiscal Year 2008 to support Burmese refugees in Thailand.
  • From 1998-2008, the United States provided more than $2.4 million for the Mae Tao Clinic, and we plan to provide another $450,000 in the coming fiscal year as part of the ongoing humanitarian and health program for the Burmese people.

President and Mrs. Bush continue to actively express the American people's support for the people of Burma as they struggle for democracy, human rights, and freedom.  Since the Saffron Revolution of September 2007, President Bush has issued two new executive orders that authorize the Department of the Treasury to impose financial sanctions on persons determined to be responsible for supporting, empowering, and enriching the Burmese regime as well as state-owned enterprises.

  • Under these Executive Orders, the Administration has already targeted 84 entities and individuals for sanctions.
  • The President also signed into law the Tom Lantos JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act, which prohibits importation of jadeite or rubies from Burma, and jewelry containing such jadeite and rubies, thereby targeting a significant source of revenue for the Burmese regime.

Additionally, in 2006, Mrs. Bush hosted a United Nations roundtable on the plight of the Burmese people, and has continually urged the international community to condemn the violence in Burma and work to prevent future violence.  In this effort, Mrs. Bush has consulted with the UN Secretary General and met several times with Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Secretary General's special adviser on Burma.  Most recently, Mrs. Bush held a press conference in May 2008 in the White House Press Briefing Room calling on the junta to allow unhindered access for international disaster experts and aid providers so that the Burmese people could receive the assistance they need in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.