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Clinton Announces More Humanitarian Aid for Syrian Crisis

02 October 2012
Line of families sitting on dirt among trees, with woman standing in foreground (AP Images)

Newly arrived Syrian refugee families rest September 15 after crossing the border from Syria to Jordan. The U.N. says more than 250,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.

Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced September 28 in New York that the United States is providing nearly $30 million more in humanitarian assistance to help those affected by the conflict in Syria. With this new assistance, the United States is providing more than $132 million in fiscal year 2012 to help more than 975,000 people inside Syria and the nearly 300,000 who have fled to the safety of neighboring countries.

This newest funding from the United States will help provide critical aid to besieged communities inside Syria, and includes funding through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The money will provide additional medical supplies and emergency medical care, including mental health care for children who are suffering severely. It will also help provide displaced children with continued access to education. The United States will also provide clean water, materials for shelter, blankets, basic household necessities such as hand soap and pots and pans, improved sanitation and materials to help protect against the approaching winter.

In some areas where markets are functioning, the United States will support a program for families to make housing repairs and purchase household supplies that will also infuse cash into the local economy. This funding provides assistance to Palestinian refugees and internally displaced Syrians affected by the violence.

The assistance includes:

• $48.5 million through the World Food Programme (WFP).

• $30 million through NGOs.

• Almost $30 million through UNHCR.

• $11 million through UNRWA.

• $8 million through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

• Almost $4 million through UNICEF.

• $1.3 million through WHO.

• $1 million through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

• $0.5 million through the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

• $0.5 million through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

• $0.3 million through the U.N. Department of Safety and Security for support of humanitarian operations.

The United States is aggressively pursuing all feasible options to expand humanitarian aid in Syria, using both traditional and nontraditional humanitarian networks, the State Department said in a statement on the new assistance. The United States continues to pursue every available avenue to secure access for humanitarian organizations to help the people caught in the middle of the Syrian conflict, it said.

“We recognize the generosity of the governments of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq for receiving those fleeing the violence in Syria and for hosting and providing assistance to those in need. We commend the efforts of the United Nations and other international organizations and nongovernmental organizations to ease the trauma that the conflict in Syria has inflicted on those fleeing the violence,” the U.S. statement said.

More detailed information on the U.S. government’s response to the crisis in Syria is available on the USAID website.