Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC February 19, 2013
Today in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Syria Humanitarian Forum, U.S. Agency for International Development Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, Nancy Lindborg announced that the United States is providing an additional $19 million in humanitarian assistance in response to urgent needs emanating from the brutal conflict in Syria. On January 29, President Obama announced an additional $155 million to help those suffering inside Syria and refugees in the neighboring countries. Today’s announcement brings the United States total contribution of humanitarian support in response to this crisis to nearly $385 million.
U.S. funding has helped train nearly 875 medical personnel, treat over 410,000 patients, and perform over 29,000 surgeries in Syria. This new funding will provide additional medical supplies and emergency medical care for those in need in Syria.
This additional funding will also allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to continue providing life-saving assistance, in particular rehabilitation and upkeep of water and sanitation systems, provision of medical care, and the distribution of food and non-food items in all of Syria’s 14 governorates, including in opposition-controlled and contested areas. ICRC’s reputation as a neutral and independent actor continues to help gain access and outreach to those affected by conflict; this role is essential in any conflict.
This funding will also provide food vouchers for more than 50,000 additional Syrian refugees in Jordan. The vouchers can be redeemed for approved items at designated local markets. Given that many of these refugees are living in host communities and not in camp settings, voucher assistance provides beneficiaries with the dignity and freedom of selecting what is best for their families while also stimulating the local economy.
The United States remains committed to supporting humanitarian assistance for all those in need inside Syria and to working with a wide range of international partners and Syrian humanitarian organizations whose dedicated staff are taking great risks to ensure aid is directly reaching those in need. The U.S. Government is coordinating closely with the Syrian Opposition Coalition in helping identify and reach those in need of humanitarian assistance where access is constrained.
Over 870,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring countries since the beginning of the conflict. Just since January 1, over one-quarter of a million Syrians have fled the country, with the majority seeking refuge in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt. Nearly $170 million of our assistance is provided to help those seeking refuge in these countries.
The United States recognizes and applauds the generosity of the governments and people of Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, who continue to keep their borders open to those fleeing the violence, and we urge them to continue doing so for all those in need—including Palestinian and Iraqi refugees. We also express appreciation to all countries, including Iraq as well as countries in North Africa and Europe that are hosting and providing assistance to these vulnerable populations.
For more detailed information on the U.S. Government’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, please visit:http://www.usaid.gov/crisis/syria.