U.S. Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Syrian Crisis

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 8, 2013

The United States is providing an additional $100 million in humanitarian assistance to support those affected by the violence within Syria and the more than 1.4 million refugees across the region. This new funding is in addition to the nearly $25 million in food assistance for Syria announced by Secretary Kerry in Istanbul April 21. The United States remains the single-largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people, and with today’s announcement, is now providing nearly $510 million in humanitarian assistance.

The United States reaffirms our support and appreciation to those countries hosting refugees, and commends their efforts to provide protection and assistance to all who are fleeing the violence inside Syria. The United States recognizes the significant strains on local populations and the economic impacts of providing aid to refugees, and commends the hospitality of the citizens and governments who are welcoming refugees into their communities. We call on all governments to continue keeping their borders open to all who are fleeing the violence in Syria.

Today’s $100 million announcement will support the activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), both within Syria and as part of the regional refugee response in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. The funding will support:

JORDAN: Nearly $43 million

Funding will support UNHCR and UNICEF: UNHCR’s provision of shelter, food assistance, protection services, and health care for Syrian refugees in both camp and urban environments. UNHCR has ramped up registration efforts to identify and assist refugees in host communities to ensure support is reaching the most vulnerable. Further, UNICEF and its partners serve nearly 111,000 beneficiaries through water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and services at Za’atri refugee camp, including the daily delivery of more than three million liters of water. UNICEF also manages child-friendly spaces and playgrounds in Za’atri and other sites where refugees can play, learn and receive mental health and trauma counseling. UNICEF is also working closely with the Jordanian Ministry of Education to educate more than 31,000 Syrian students in Jordanian public schools.

At the request of the Government of Jordan, this new funding will also assist with the initial stages of building a new refugee camp at Azraq, including the initial stages of camp construction, food distribution for four months, and construction of water, sanitation, and health facilities for up to 50,000 Syrian refugees.

LEBANON: $32 million

Funding will support UNHCR, UNICEF, and UNRWA: Funding for UNHCR will support Syrian refugees, as well as Lebanese host communities, with shelter improvements for families hosting refugees, quick impact projects to improve local services in affected areas, vocational training, educational classes, and agriculture-based projects to provide opportunities to unemployed adults and out-of-school youth. Additionally, newly-arrived Syrian refugees will benefit from ongoing registration and protection efforts as well as in-kind food assistance and cash assistance. Funding through UNICEF will continue to provide water and sanitation improvements and support to expand Lebanese public schools and train teachers to educate nearly 30,000 Syrian students enrolled in the Lebanese education system. UNICEF is also providing accelerated learning classes and extracurricular activities for refugee children to adapt to the Lebanese curriculum.

The number of Palestinian refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon exceeds 42,000, and many fled Syria following the violent conflict in December 2012 in the Palestinian neighborhood of Yarmouk, near Damascus. Like all arrivals from Syria, Palestinians face difficult circumstances in Lebanon, where living and social conditions are extremely challenging and needs overwhelm the available assistance. Additional U.S. support to UNRWA in Lebanon provides needed assistance to this population, including cash assistance, relief supplies, education, and medical care.

TURKEY: $9.5 million

Funding will support UNICEF and UNHCR: The United States’ commitment to supporting humanitarian needs in Turkish camps and urban settings is demonstrated through this additional funding which helps offset the Government of Turkey’s own generous spending on direct assistance to Syrian refugees. U.S. government funding for UNHCR within Turkey will support costs for urban refugee registration and the provision of tents, blankets, kitchen burners, and kitchen sets. Further, funding for UNICEF will provide Syrian children and youth access to safe education and recreation spaces.

INSIDE SYRIA: nearly $16 million

Inside Syria, funding will support UNRWA and UNHCR: Funding through UNHCR will provide conflict-affected and internally displaced Syrians with basic necessities such as blankets, hygiene kits, clothing, and other items, along with shelter, cash assistance, health care, and community protection services. Additionally, support for UNRWA’s needs inside Syria is critical to enabling UNRWA to provide direct food and cash assistance to the estimated 400,000 Palestinian refugees now affected by the violence.

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.

PRN: 2013/0535