The United States is pursuing every avenue to provide humanitarian relief to those affected by the violence in Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. The United States is providing an additional $12.8 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Syria, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to just over $52 million during the current fiscal year for this crisis. Our assistance continues to reach those affected by the violence through our contributions to international and non-governmental humanitarian partners, including:
The UN estimates that at least 1 million people in Syria are in need of assistance, with the number of internally displaced Syrians estimated at approximately 300,000. These, as well as other vulnerable and besieged communities, have received U.S. assistance in the form of medical supplies and other humanitarian relief. Humanitarian assistance is provided on the basis of need, not political affiliation, and is being distributed to the most vulnerable through UN agencies, international and local non-governmental organizations. Working together, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and ICRC, as well as UNICEF, WFP and other international and local NGOs are providing substantial assistance to Syrians and other civilians under great risk.
Nearly 45,000 needy people in Homs, some 15,000 people in Hama, and 14,500 people in Idlib and rural Damascus have received food and other essentials over the last two weeks from the SARC, with ICRC support. ICRC has established teams inside Syria to more efficiently deliver assistance to those most in need. The ICRC provided the SARC branches in Damascus, Rural Damascus, Idlib and Homs with enough medical supplies to treat 200 casualties. Additionally, 2,000 displaced persons will benefit from improved water and sanitation at 10 public buildings in Homs. UN and NGO partners are delivering critical medical services and supplies, food, water, blankets, hygiene kits, and household items to the Syrian people targeting more than 400,000 people.
In Neighboring Countries:
We recognize the generosity of the Governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq, who have kept their borders open and are hosting and providing assistance to those fleeing the violence in Syria.
According to the Government of Turkey, as of June 5, 2012, there were more than 26,700 displaced Syrians in camps in Turkey. The Turkish government, with the help of the Turkish Red Crescent, provides camp-based humanitarian assistance that exceeds international standards. At the Turkish government’s request, UNHCR provides technical assistance to Turkish authorities on protection issues including camp management, voluntary repatriation, and registration. In 2012, UNHCR has provided 3,100 family tents and 23,880 blankets in support of the Turkish government’s humanitarian response to the displaced Syrians in Turkey; UNHCR preparations are underway to provide an additional 2,000 family tents, 10,000 blankets, and 2,000 kitchen sets.
In Lebanon, more than 26,000 Syrians are being assisted throughout the country. More than 13,500 have been registered by UNHCR and Lebanon’s High Relief Commission in the North. UNHCR and partners are registering and assisting an additional 3,000 in Tripoli, 900 in the Beirut area, and 7,500 in the Bekaa valley. Ongoing security incidents have impeded assistance in the North, due to road closures, limited movement and inhibited access to affected communities.
Partners distributed 17,000 core relief items, more than 15,500 food kits, and more than 13,000 hygiene kits in north Lebanon. Additionally, UNHCR and partners have distributed clothing, baby kits and heating fuel coupons. WFP will distribute food parcels for 1,300 families in north Lebanon in June 2012.
NGOs have rehabilitated the homes of 29 host families in Lebanon by providing cash grants; and have rehabilitated 19 collective centers. An additional 35 homes are currently being rehabilitated, with 51 more dwellings in line to be renovated. Collective centers have also been identified for future rehabilitation, and technical assessments on the rehabilitation of 30 unfinished buildings in the Bekaa were completed. ICRC and the Lebanese Red Cross have provided medical training to a number of hospitals.
In Jordan, approximately 24,000 displaced Syrians have been registered by UNHCR, with another 2,500 scheduled for registration. Local organizations have identified 35,000 Syrians in need of assistance in Jordan. The Government of Jordan has provided a much higher number of 115,000 Syrians present in country, as many who entered have not registered with UNHCR.
A range of UN agencies are providing relief assistance, education, and health support to displaced Syrians in Jordan in coordination with various Jordanian Ministries. Nearly 2,600 individuals received out-patient health services through UNHCR and its implementing partners since April 1, 2012. Three clinics, in the cities where most Syrians are located, provide free health services to Syrians. Additionally, mobile medical units are also free of charge and travel to newly arrived Syrian populations in need. Some 400 individuals have received non-food items, such as blankets, mattresses, cooking sets and other items. WFP distributed food rations through partners to 12,615 Syrians who are living in host communities. Additionally, WFP provided more than 30,315 hot meals in transit centers since April 19, 2012.
In Iraq, UNHCR has registered more than 4,600 Syrians, with 425 individuals awaiting registration. Many families are staying with relatives and do not immediately seek registration; the most destitute of arrivals have relocated to Domiz camp, where the number of residents has reached more than 3,425 individuals. As of May 30, Domiz camp comprised 254 family tents and 35 tents for individuals. Water and septic tanks have been installed and connected, and the construction of 125 individual cooking areas has begun.
Statement by Esther Brimmer
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
Urgent Debate on Syria
February 28, 2012
Madame President, the United States joins the many other nations gathered today, to again demand an end to the Assad government’s outrageous and ongoing crimes against the people of Syria, which it has escalated by deliberately bombarding populated cities and towns with heavy artillery.
None can deny that Bashar al-Assad and his criminal cohort are waging a brutal campaign of slaughter, bombardment, torture, and arrest that already has murdered thousands of women, men, and children, with more killed each day.
The Commission of Inquiry launched by this Council last August concluded that Syrian government forces have perpetrated crimes against humanity.
Syrian civilians and international journalists risk their lives daily to inform the world of the horrendous scale of slaughter and suffering.
Without a halt to the killing and a guarantee of immediate humanitarian access, this despicable government will murder many more before this heinous chapter in Syria’s history is over.
The way forward is clear.
The international community supports these essential steps as the solution to the violence in Syria.
Syrian women, men, and children face murder and starvation at the hands of their own government, simply because they demand respect for the universal human rights this Council exists to protect and advance.
Let our nations demonstrate today that the world stands united with the people of Syria, for it is they who represent their country’s future, just as Assad and his murderous cohort represent its past.