After more than eight years of brutal conflict in Syria, the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people are dire and ongoing, said Carol O’Connell, U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration in a recent interview.
“When we look at Syria, it’s really a catastrophic crisis. Eight years into the crisis we still have displaced persons inside Syria…who every day are still looking for basic needs for their families, for food, for shelter, for water, for healthcare. They’re trying to find safety and protection.”
Acting Assistant Secretary O’Connell said the United States is committed to continuing its support for those 6.2 million internally displaced people as well as for the 5.6 million refugees that had to flee the country, in many cases, leaving everything behind.
To date, the United States is the largest single donor for the Syria response, providing more than $9.5 billion in humanitarian assistance for those affected by the conflict inside Syria and throughout the region since the start of the conflict. In conjunction with key international and non-governmental partners, the United States’ funding supports emergency food and nutrition assistance, shelter, safe drinking water, medical care, improved sanitation, and humanitarian protection activities.
The United States has provided humanitarian assistance to international organizations that are providing these crucial services throughout Syria, including in camps for displaced persons in the northeast. U.S. funding also helps support communities in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt that are generously hosting Syrian refugees.
The Syrian conflict, which began in 2011 when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad violently attacked peaceful pro-democratic protesters, has resulted in what has been called “the worst humanitarian crisis in our lifetime.” The United States will continue to lead the international community in efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people inside their country and throughout the region.