In the past two weeks, fighting between Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) forces and armed opposition groups has intensified in greater Damascus and continued throughout other parts of the country, including Aleppo, Dar’a, Dayr az Zawr, Hama, Homs, Idlib, Latakia, and Rif Damascus governorates, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The fighting has resulted in increased displacement within Syria, including the repeated displacement of some Syrians. The conflict has also resulted in a more than 26 percent increase in the number of Syrians displaced to Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey since August 20.
On August 30, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres addressed the U.N. Security Council on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and called for increased international support for relief efforts and greater protection for non-combatants in Syria. The address coincided with U.N. and humanitarian group reports of an increasing number of SARG checkpoints, roadblocks, and road closures limiting their ability to reach some conflict-affected populations, particularly in and around Damascus and Aleppo.
In early September, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah traveled to Jordan to meet with senior Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (GHKJ) officials, U.N. representatives, international non-governmental organization (NGO) staff, and others to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and U.S. assistance for the conflict-affected. While visiting Jordan’s Za’atri camp, Administrator Shah announced that the U.S. Government (USG) is providing an additional $21 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing total USG humanitarian assistance to nearly $103 million for people affected by the crisis in Syria. This assistance comprises an additional $14.3 million to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) Emergency Operation (EMOP) to support conflict-affected people inside Syria and an additional $6.7 million to WFP’s EMOP to support Syrians displaced to neighboring countries.
The USG continues to address the needs of conflict-affected people in Syria and neighboring countries through the provision of emergency medical care, food, and relief items, as well as humanitarian coordination and logistics support to relief agencies. The USG also supports nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene activities.