U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release, March 15, 2012
Humanitarian Relief for Syrians
The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief into Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure safe access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. To that end, the United States is providing over $12 million in humanitarian assistance through the UN and other humanitarian organizations to support the people of Syria. This assistance is supporting international and non-governmental humanitarian partners, including:
- $5.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
- $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
- $3 million to the World Food Program (WFP); and
- $1 million to non-governmental organizations (NGO).
U.S. efforts also include bolstering existing regional stockpiles of humanitarian supplies and equipment to be delivered to vulnerable and besieged Syrian communities. These stockpiles of food and other emergency relief supplies are part of a growing international effort to rush humanitarian aid into Syria to alleviate suffering as access and conditions allow.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are delivering critical medical services and supplies, food, water, blankets, hygiene kits, and heaters to the Syrian people. This funding will also provide support for host families who are sheltering displaced Syrians due to the ongoing violence and to those who have fled to neighboring countries.
On March 14, 2012, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a special alert voicing serious concern over the state of food security, especially for vulnerable groups. The World Food Program (WFP) estimates that 1.4 million people have become food insecure as a result of the violence.
WFP plans to provide food aid to 100,000 people affected by the civil conflict in 11 governorates in Syria. The WFP operation provides rations to displaced Syrians and host families, households that have lost breadwinners or livelihoods, female-headed households, and unaccompanied minors. Since February 20, the World Food Program has delivered 16,850 family food rations—sufficient to feed approximately 84,000 people for one month—to Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) warehouses in 11 governorates in Syria. SARC has distributed 7,415 WFP food rations to beneficiaries this month, although several of the worst-affected areas within the governorates remain inaccessible due to insecurity.