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Fact Sheet: President Obama Increases Humanitarian Assistance to Syrians

June 17, 2013

Today, during his meeting with G-8 leaders in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, President Obama announced over $300 million in additional life-saving humanitarian assistance to help feed, shelter, and provide medical care for children, women, and men affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria. The United States remains the single-largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people, and this new contribution brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Syria crisis to nearly $815 million since the crisis began.

The United States supports and appreciates the countries hosting the 1.6 million refugees who have fled the brutal conflict in Syria, and commends host-nation efforts to provide protection, assistance, and hospitality to all those fleeing violence. The United States recognizes the significant strains on host communities and the economic impact of providing refuge to such a large number of people. We call on all host governments to continue to keep their borders open to those still fleeing violence in Syria.

This $300 million in additional humanitarian aid from the United States will increase food aid, medical care, clean water, and provide shelter and other relief supplies for families suffering in Syria and neighboring countries. In addition, the United States is increasing support for activities to protect especially vulnerable populations—including women, children, and the elderly—and improving sanitation and hygiene to help prevent the spread of water-borne illness.

The United States is now providing aid to 3.2 million people in Syria across all 14 governorates and continues to work through all possible channels to deliver aid to those in need in Syria, including through the United Nations, international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and local Syrian organizations.

This new U.S. assistance includes:

INSIDE SYRIA: Over $128 million

Additional aid from the United States is increasing life-saving health and emergency medical capacity; providing additional food aid, including American wheat that will be milled into flour; providing more blankets, hygiene kits, clothing, and shelter materials; and supporting women, children, and those with special needs.

LEBANON: Over $72 million

The increased U.S. aid supports 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, along with vocational training, educational classes, and income generation activities to benefit Syrians and Lebanese in need. Additionally, new funding supports efforts to register newly-arrived Syrian refugees and provide them with food vouchers and cash assistance. Increased funding will provide food assistance to 165,000 Syrian refugees by July 2013.

U.S. funding ensures that 400,000 children under the age of five are immunized against measles, that water and sanitation services reach 70,000 refugees and host communities, and that more than 100,000 children have a safe educational environment.

In Lebanon, the number of Palestinian refugees from Syria now exceeds 56,500 and is anticipated to reach 80,000 by December. Palestinian arrivals from Syria are largely making their way to Lebanon's existing Palestinian camps. These camps were already overcrowded and in disrepair before the influx from Syria increased the camps' population by approximately 20 percent. U.S. support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon provides needed assistance to this population, including cash assistance, relief supplies, education, and medical care.

JORDAN: Over $45 million

Our increased funding increases our food assistance to Jordan, providing monthly food assistance to 192,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan by July 2013. The United States is also providing shelter support, protection services, education, and health care. We are helping provide health services in camps, host communities, and transit sites, especially for children under age five. In addition, U.S. funding will support a water network expansion at Za'atri camp, and reduce the reliance on water trucking and improve sanitation.

IRAQ: Over $24 million

Additional funding from the United States supports camp construction and much-needed relief assistance, protection programs, and education for children who have fled the conflict in Syria. U.S. assistance also contributes to vaccinations for 21,000 women and children, water and sanitation services in camps for 24,500 refugees, and mental health counseling to 8,700 children. The additional funding supports food vouchers and in-kind food assistance for 36,500 Syrian refugees in Iraq.

TURKEY: Over $22 million

Additional U.S. funding is helping offset the Government of Turkey's generous spending on direct assistance to Syrian refugees. The United States is supporting costs of urban refugee registration and the provision of tents, blankets, kitchen burners, and kitchen sets for Syrians who have fled into Turkey. Our additional funding includes food vouchers for 69,000 refugees living in camps.

Our assistance provides immunizations and recreation spaces for Syrian children and youth, as well as counseling for those who have endured traumatic events. The United States is helping build the capacity of Syrian doctors and health clinics in Turkey through trainings, service coordination, and regularization of small clinics. Additionally, U.S. funding is helping implement a disaster risk management plan to reduce, mitigate, prepare for, and respond to public health risks to vulnerable populations with a goal of preventing avoidable mortality and morbidity through improved access to health care.

EGYPT: Over $6 million

U.S. assistance helps ensure 20,000 refugees have access to primary health care and helps provide pre-school and primary school for some 3,000 refugee children. The additional funding will support food vouchers for 11,500 Syrian refugees in Egypt.

For more detailed information on the U.S. Government's response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, please visit:

Barack Obama, Fact Sheet: President Obama Increases Humanitarian Assistance to Syrians Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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