Fact Sheet: U.S. Humanitarian Aid Reaching Syria and Neighboring Countries

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:

  • $16.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
  • $14.9 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
  • $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • $8 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
  • $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA);
  • $750,000 to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and
  • $500,000 to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Within Syria:

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.

Esther Brimmer: Statement at Human Rights Council Urgent Debate on Syria

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 Syrian government must immediately halt its attacks on civilians, withdraw its military and security forces to their barracks, and release the many civilians, including journalists, whom it has detained arbitrarily.
  • The government must grant humanitarian access to the country without delay, allowing much-needed food, water, and medical assistance to be delivered to the Syrian people.
  • All states should heed the call of conscience, and halt any financial or other support to the Syrian government, including arms or materiel transfers, and must back UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan.
  • In the coming weeks, this Council must extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry, so that it can continue to investigate and document the gross human rights violations being committed in Syria, providing evidence to support accountability for the senior Syrian officials who have planned and perpetrated these atrocities.
  •  Finally, Bashar al-Assad must go. There must be a Syrian-led democratic political transition that meets the long-suppressed aspirations of the Syrian people.

The international community supports these essential steps as the solution to the violence in Syria.

  • They are at the core of the plan the Arab League has put forward.
  • They were further endorsed in Tunis last week by the Group of Friends of Syria.
  • They were backed by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly resolution adopted on February 16th.
  • And although thirteen members of the Security Council supported these steps earlier this month, indefensible vetoes by two permanent members gave Assad cover to accelerate his war on the Syrian people.

Madame President,

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.

Yesterday, Secretary Clinton spoke to the Press following the London Conference. See excerpts from her remarks below:

"Today’s conference coincided with the halfway point of the roadmap to end the transition in Somalia, which spells out the steps for building a stable government after decades of erratic rule. On August 20th of 2012, the Transitional Federal Government’s mandate expires, and the international community has been clear that we do not support another extension. It is time to move forward to a more stable and unified era for the Somali people.”

"I announced the United States is providing an additional $64 million in humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa, bringing our total emergency assistance, since 2011, up to more than $934 million, including more than 211 million for Somalia alone. And looking ahead, as the security and political situation improves in Somalia, the United States will consider a more permanent, diplomatic presence there."

"Today, I had a chance to meet with a number of key partners and allies in preparation for tomorrow’s Friends of Syria conference in Tunis. This meeting comes on the heels of the overwhelming vote in the UN General Assembly, which condemned the Assad regime’s widespread and systematic violations of human rights and backed the Arab League’s plan for a negotiated, peaceful, political transition to solve this crisis.

Tunis will be an important opportunity to begin turning international consensus into action. We look forward to concrete progress on three fronts: providing humanitarian relief, increasing pressure on the regime, and preparing for a democratic transition. To that end, we hope to see new pledges of emergency assistance for Syrians caught in Assad’s stranglehold and international coordination and diplomatic pressure on Damascus to convince it to allow humanitarian aid to those who need it most. We also expect additional nations to impose effective sanctions against the regime, and we look to all countries to aggressively implement the measures they have already adopted.”

"Next, Pakistan. Foreign Minister Khar and I had a constructive discussion of our common concerns, from confronting violent extremism, to supporting Afghan-led reconciliation, to improving our bilateral relationship. Building and sustaining a relationship based on mutual interest and mutual respect takes constant care and work from both sides, from the daily engagements of our embassies to high-level meetings like the one we had today. Now, I am sure we will continue to have our ups and downs, but this relationship is simply too important to turn our back on it for both nations. And we both, therefore, remain committed to continue working to improve understanding and cooperation."

USAID Celebrates 50 Years of Progress

For 50 years, USAID has been helping communities and countries build a better future for themselves and their families, working to help others while also serving America’s own national interests. USAID is honoring 50 years of progress and celebrating an agency that is reinventing itself to become more innovative, more entrepreneurial, and more results-driven, so that it can continue to bring hope, opportunity, security, and prosperity to millions of people around the world.

The Role of Women in Feeding the World

 

In this Feed the Future video, Narrator Matt Damon discusses the importance of increasing food production around the world and notes the importance of equipping women with the right tools, training, and technology to see as much as a 30 percent increase in food production.  Feed the Future is the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative.  Transcript

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