Administration Announces Increased Aid for Syrian Refugees, More Efforts Needed
New York City – Human Rights First today welcomed the announcement that the United States has committed an additional $925 million in humanitarian aid and support for Syrian refugees during today’s Syria Donors Conference held in London. The organization continues to call on the Obama Administration to couple humanitarian aid with a significant increase in the resettlement of Syrian refugees and to champion the right of refugees to work and to cross borders to secure protection.
“The administration’s increase in humanitarian aid for vulnerable Syrian refugee families and support for front-line states, which continue to host the majority of refugees, will provide much-needed assistance for some of the more than 4 million Syrians who have fled horrific violence and persecution in search of safety,” said Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer. “But the United States can and should do much more to address this global crisis. We urge the administration to uphold American ideals by welcoming many more of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees to our nation where they can rebuild their lives. We also encourage the United States to further increase its own humanitarian and development assistance to the Syria crisis, and to redouble efforts to encourage other countries to increase their assistance and resettlement contributions.”
Co-hosted by the United Kingdom, Germany, Kuwait, and the United Nations, the Syrian Donors Conference brought together world leaders to raise new funding and to discuss solutions to address the global refugee crisis and support frontline states. Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the United States has resettled less than 2,600 Syrian refugees and has committed only to resettle “at least 10,000” Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016. The United States has reportedly pledged a total sum of $925 million in aid, double the amount pledged in the previous year.
The world is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II, with over 60 million people displaced. Over 4 million Syrians have fled their country due to conflict and persecution, and 7.6 million are displaced within Syria in need of humanitarian assistance. Syrian border states, including Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, continue to host the majority of these refugees, who have fled horrific violence and conflict in their country. Many have been stranded for years without the ability to work to support their families, with little access to education and a lack of the level of basic humanitarian assistance they need. Faced with insufficient humanitarian, development and resettlement support, these countries have implemented border restrictions that have effectively closed the border for refugees, leaving many trapped within Syria or forced to take dangerous journeys in search of safety.