February 17, 2015
Increasing its commitment to help those affected by the crisis in Syria, the United States is providing an additional $125 million in humanitarian assistance to the UN World Food Program (WFP), which feeds nearly six million Syrians and refugees from Syria every month. The announcement was made today by Kelly Clements, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and Jack Myer, Principal Regional Advisor/Europe, Middle East and Central Asia, USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, in Geneva, Switzerland.
More than $50 million of this funding will support WFP’s distribution of monthly food parcels to the 4 million people in urgent need of food assistance within Syria. This is a continuation of U.S. humanitarian assistance that has provided more than $1.5 billion to humanitarian agencies operating in all of Syria’s 14 governorates.
To help neighboring countries respond to the massive refugee influx, more than $70 million of the new funding is supporting WFP’s electronic food voucher program, which gives refugees the freedom to shop for needed items in conveniently accessible markets. Since 2013, the voucher program—funded in large part by the United States—has provided critical food assistance to refugees while also contributing approximately $1 billion to the economies of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Iraq. The program has also bolstered local economies and reduced the strain placed on communities that have generously opened their doors to refugees from Syria.
The United States is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian crisis, providing more than $3 billion since the start of the conflict, including over $1.2 billion in food assistance, to help millions of people inside Syria and beyond its borders receive food, urgent medical care, and much-needed relief supplies.