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U.S. Pledges Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Syrians in Need
September 5, 2012

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 5, 2012

A man speaking to reporters in a tent
USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah speaking in Jordan

The United States remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis caused by violence in Syria. Over 100,000 refugees have flooded into neighboring countries in the month of August, stretching host country capacity. We commend the generosity of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq in assisting approximately 240,000 Syrians who have fled.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has stated that as many as 2.5 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, more than double the number that was assessed in March 2012, and over 1.2 million people have been internally displaced.

To help meet the growing humanitarian need, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah announced today in Jordan that the United States is providing an additional $21 million to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP). Of this new funding, $14.3 million will provide food assistance to conflict-affected people inside Syria and $6.7 million to support Syrians displaced to neighboring countries.

With this new assistance, the United States is providing a total of more than $100 million for humanitarian activities both inside Syria and in neighboring countries:

  • $48.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
  • $23.1 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • $15 million, approximately, to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs);
  • $8 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
  • $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA);
  • $2.75 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF);
  • $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC);
  • $500,000 to the International Organization for Migration (IOM);
  • $500,000 to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); and
  • $300,000 to the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) for support of humanitarian operations.

The U.S. Government continues to work with international partners to mitigate the effects of the conflict on innocent civilians and provide humanitarian assistance to more than 780,000 people inside Syria. In addition, we are supporting international partners in assisting the host nations receiving the approximately 240,000 who have fled the country. The United States Government’s support for humanitarian assistance includes the provision of emergency medical care, food, and relief items, as well as humanitarian coordination and logistics support to relief agencies. This funding also supports nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene activities.

For more than 30 years, the United States has been committed to building the international architecture that responds quickly and effectively to humanitarian crises, such as we are seeing now in Syria. U.S. contributions to UN agencies and other international and non-governmental humanitarian organizations support the delivery of critical assistance on the basis of need. The UN is leading the response to the humanitarian crisis caused by violence in Syria in full coordination with host governments to ensure that the basic needs of Syrians and others fleeing Syria are met.

As of the end of August, the U.N.’s six-month Syria Humanitarian Response Plan had received just over half of the requested $180 million. Donors have also provided 54 percent of the $193 million U.N. Regional Response Plan for activities targeting displaced Syrians in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq. We commend those donors who have contributed to the UN appeals, and we urge other nations to support the international humanitarian response.

The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. More information can be found at: The Center for International Disaster Information: www.cidi.org

While the U.S. Government is engaged in planning for the day after the Asad regime falls, it is clear that at this juncture the international community must continue planning for long-term assistance for the region.