Much of this U.S. assistance has gone toward keeping the displaced warm.
The bloody crackdown of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime against its own people over the past two years has precipitated a critical humanitarian crisis. The conflict, which began as relatively peaceful protests in late January 2011 but quickly escalated into a civil war, has been brutally hard on the civilian population.
According to the United Nations, at least 60,000 people have been killed while some 612,000 Syrians left the country and have taken refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. 2.5 million Syrians are internally displaced and 4 million people inside Syria are in need of assistance.
To help alleviate the plight of those people of Syria who are suffering at the hands of their own government, the United States has provided approximately $210 million in humanitarian aid. This aid benefits not only those people suffering in Syria, but also those who were forced to escape to neighboring countries.
Much of this U.S. assistance has gone toward keeping the displaced warm: not only inside Syria, but also in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. Winterization aid included winterized shelters, heating stoves, blankets, and warm clothing.
Other funds have been allocated for child protection, education, prevention of gender-based violence, and an immunization campaign that will protect up to one million children inside Syria from measles and other preventable diseases. Other medical assistance included emergency aid training and treatment of the sick and injured in some of the hardest-hit areas, such as Damascus, Dar’a and Homs.
Working with a number of partners such as the World Food Program, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, we helped feed 1.5 million Syrians each month in all 14 governorates of Syria, including in hard-to-reach and conflict-affected areas.
But even so, some one million Syrians are still in desperate need of food assistance. We urge all countries to help the Syrian people in their hour of need by funding the appeals and coordinating closely with the UN
The United States stands resolutely with the Syrian people facing dire humanitarian conditions every day. As State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, “We very much want to support the Syrian people in their desire for a better future.”