U.S. Commits $380 Million to Syrian Crisis Response
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First welcomes the United States’ pledge of $380 million in humanitarian assistance for the Syrian crisis. At today’s second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the additional pledge, bringing U.S. humanitarian funding since the start of the crisis to a total of $1.7 billion. The new pledge includes money for emergency medical care, shelter and water inside Syria, and support for food, shelter and education for refugees in the region.
“The United States continues to play a vital role in funding life-saving assistance inside Syria, as well as for refugees in the region. We saw firsthand the desperate need for this funding during our recent trip to Jordan and Turkey. In addition to today’s funding pledge, we welcome Secretary Kerry’s calls for greater humanitarian access to allow the delivery of critical aid inside Syria,” said Human Rights First’s Duncan Breen. “Secretary Kerry was also right to stress the need for all governments to work together to bring an end to the devastating conflict in Syria as soon as possible.”
Aid agencies continue to report being denied access to many parts of Syria and the United Nations has estimated that 9.3 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. News stories have reported more and more accounts of starvation from Yarmouk, the Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus that remains under siege. Palestinian refugees from Syria face limited options in being able to escape the violence in Syria as neighboring countries increasingly deny them entry.
“While the United States has been generous in its provision of humanitarian aid, more effort is needed to step up the resettlement of Syrian refugees. Human Rights First has called for the United States to resettle at least 15,000 Syrian refugees each year in order to protect some of the most vulnerable individuals as well as further support Syria’s neighbors,” Breen added.