FACT SHEET: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Syrian Crisis
President Obama announced today the United States will provide $339 million in additional U.S. humanitarian aid to support those affected by the ongoing crisis in Syria. This new announcement brings the total U.S. funding for humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people to nearly $1.4 billion since the crisis began. The United States is providing food, clean water, shelter, medical care, and relief supplies to over 4.2 million people inside Syria, as well as to the more than two million refugees across the region. The United States remains the single-largest contributor of humanitarian aid for the Syrian people.
Civilians in Syria are paying the heaviest price for the struggle to end the rule of the Assad regime. The U.S. government is working through all possible channels, including United Nations agencies, international and non-governmental organizations, and local Syrian organizations to reach the millions in desperate need of aid inside Syria and throughout the region.
Today’s announcement will also bolster the enormous hospitality of the citizens and governments of the region providing protection and assistance to the children, women and men displaced by the violence. The United States recognizes the heavy economic and social strains that hosting this vulnerable population places on local communities and national governments. We urge all governments to increase their contributions to the international humanitarian effort for survivors of Syrian violence and urge governments to keep their borders open to those fleeing the violence.
Today’s announcement will support the activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), both within Syria and for the regional refugee response in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt.
INSIDE SYRIA: Nearly $161 million
This increased aid will provide life-saving medical care and supplies, funding for shelter construction, and critical support for water, sanitation and hygiene projects to help those affected by the crisis in Syria. In addition, our new assistance will provide counseling and additional protection programs to help the most vulnerable, including women, children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.
Of the 6.8 million people in need of assistance inside Syria, around 420,000 are Palestinian refugees. Support for UNRWA inside Syria is helping deliver emergency relief, health, and education services to this displaced population.
This new funding will also support the WFP operation working to provide food assistance to 3 million Syrians across all 14 governorates. This additional support will provide WFP with nearly 122 metric tons of Nutributter, a highly-fortified nutritional supplement formulated to help prevent malnutrition in children. Through NGOs able to reach parts of Syria that WFP cannot, U.S. assistance will provide additional household rations for food insecure families and flour to bakeries that make daily bread for the community.
LEBANON: More than $74 million
This new assistance will help support the needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and their host communities with shelter improvements for families hosting refugees and quick impact projects to improve local services in affected areas, as well as vocational training and educational classes to benefit Syrians and Lebanese in need. U.S. support to WFP provides Syrian refugees in Lebanon with food vouchers that are redeemable in local shops and allow refugee families to tailor food purchases to their needs. In addition, U.S. funding supports women and children’s health with the distribution of hygiene and baby kits to thousands of highly vulnerable refugees and host community members. U.S funding will ensure that efforts to provide playgrounds and other safe spaces for more than 325,000 refugee children in Lebanon will continue.
The number of refugees now living in Lebanon includes more than 45,000 Palestinians from Syria. Like all arrivals from Syria, Palestinians face difficult circumstances in Lebanon, where living and social conditions are extremely challenging and needs exceed the available assistance. Additional U.S. support to UNRWA in Lebanon provides needed aid, including cash, relief supplies, education, and medical care, to Palestinians in camps and cities, as well as to the communities where they live.
JORDAN: More than $48 million
Our additional support to Syrians in Jordan provides life-saving assistance including high-quality blankets, heating stoves, and fuel vouchers. As winter sets in, this new U.S support will assist vulnerable households with winterization materials and shelter rehabilitation kits. For Syrians living in camps, the increased funding provides access to clean water and fresh bread and other food assistance, and ensures that camp infrastructure projects continue. The new funding will continue to support food vouchers for refugees living outside of camps.
Approximately 75% of Syrian refugees in Jordan live on the local economy. Today’s announcement ensures water and sanitation projects, mobile clinics, and immunization campaigns benefiting Jordanian communities continue.
IRAQ: More than $24 million
Increased U.S. humanitarian aid supports the work of UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, UNFPA, and IOM, and other international organizations, in responding to new needs after the influx of more than 63,000 Syrian refugees into northern Iraq since August 15. It also continues to ensure that refugees residing in Iraq prior to August have access to services and that their needs are met. In addition to registration, shelter, education, and healthcare activities, the additional support will help provide newly-arrived refugees with basic life-saving items such as blankets, sleeping mats, and plastic sheeting.
The new funding will allow WFP to provide additional food aid to Syrian refugees through food vouchers and, where necessary, in-kind food assistance. U.S. assistance also ensures that new camp construction efforts continue, while providing for 150 quick impact projects to expand aid and services. It will also work to mitigate to gender-based violence (GBV) and provide assistance to survivors of GBV.
TURKEY: More than $25 million
The new U.S. government funding assists in addressing the humanitarian and protection needs of Syrian refugees in Turkish camps and cities. For example, WFP provides refugees with electronic food vouchers that allow families living in camps to purchase nutritious food items to meet their daily needs, while UNHCR is providing tents, blankets, mobile registration centers, and kitchen sets and other equipment to permit refugees to prepare their own food. Funding for UNICEF and other aid partners will provide Syrian children and youth access to safe education and recreation spaces and provide educators with training and educational resources. Other assistance will help provide support to vulnerable and trauma-affected urban refugees.
EGYPT: Nearly $6 million
The increased funding helps provide cash and housing assistance to Syrian refugees and promote self-sustainment through entrepreneurship, vocational and technical skills training. To help address the educational needs of Syrian children in Egypt, the additional assistance provides support for school enrollment and promotes lifelong learning through adult literacy classes. This new funding also provides additional support for food vouchers for food insecure refugee families.
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.