05 September 2012

US to Provide $100 Million in Humanitarian Assistance for Syria

The United States has announced it is stepping up its humanitarian response for victims of the violence in Syria. Reports yesterday said that 100,000 refugees left Syria during the month of August. Gaining humanitarian access to embattled parts of the country has been challenging.

The Red Cross attempted on a few occasions to enter war-torn cities to little avail. The head of the organization met with President Asad earlier in the week in an attempt to make the case for allowing further humanitarian services in the country.

Here is a rundown of the assistance:
  • $48.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
  • $23.1 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • $15 million, approximately, to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs);
  • $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);
  • $2.75 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF);
  • $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC);
  • $500,000 to the International Organization for Migration (IOM);
  • $500,000 to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); and
  • $300,000 to the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) for support of humanitarian operations.
A USAID press release explained more specifically what the response would look like saying, "The U.S. Government continues to work with international partners to mitigate the effects of the conflict on innocent civilians and provide humanitarian assistance to more than 780,000 people inside Syria. In addition, we are supporting international partners in assisting the host nations receiving the approximately 240,000 who have fled the country. The United States Government’s support for humanitarian assistance includes the provision of emergency medical care, food, and relief items, as well as humanitarian coordination and logistics support to relief agencies. This funding also supports nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene activities."