US to give $32M for Myanmar's Rohingya refugees

Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over recently from Myanmar into Bangladesh, stand in a queue to receive food being distributed near Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. More than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the past year, most of them in the last three weeks, after security forces and allied mobs retaliated to a series of attacks by Muslim militants last month by burning down thousands of Rohingya homes in the predominantly Buddhist nation.

NEW YORK (AP) - The United States says it will contribute nearly $32 million in humanitarian aid to help Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar.

It's the first major response by the Trump administration to the mass exodus over the last month that has raised accusations of ethnic cleansing.

The money will come from a State Department account. It will be coordinated through the International Committee of the Red Cross and affiliated local groups.

The announcement comes as world leaders gather in New York for U.N. General Assembly meetings. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discussed the Rohingya crisis by phone Tuesday with Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The State Department says the money will help provide food, health care, water and sanitation, shelter and psychological support.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)