Facts on U.S. Humanitarian Aid in Response to Syrian Crisis

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, D.C.
March 31, 2015

FACT SHEET

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

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced today at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait that the United States will provide nearly $508 million in additional life-saving assistance to benefit those affected by the war in Syria. This is the largest announcement of funding the United States has made for this humanitarian crisis, which demonstrates the unprecedented magnitude of suffering and urgent needs.

This new funding brings the total U.S. contribution to assist those affected by the conflict in Syria since its start in 2011 to nearly $3.7 billion. The funding will support the activities of both international and non-governmental organizations, including United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Program (WFP), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It will provide food, water, medical care, shelter, protection, and other necessities to millions of civilians suffering inside Syria and nearly 4 million refugees from Syria in the region. It will also provide assistance to host governments and communities throughout the region that are struggling to cope with the strain of supporting them. The announcement comes after the United States provided more than $1.5 billion to those affected by the conflict in fiscal year 2014, the largest amount of assistance the United States has ever provided to a single crisis in one year.

The new funding comes in response to the $8.4 billion United Nations 2015 appeals for Syria and the region, its largest set of appeals to date. Behind the numbing statistics are humans whose lives are at stake: the refugee boy who is forced to leave school to support his family by begging on the streets, the widow in a besieged Damascus suburb who struggles to feed her children, and the father seeking urgent medical care for an injured child in a city where few doctors remain.

The United States recognizes that along with our emergency relief response, we must look at the longer-term development needs of Syria’s neighbors – boosting their health care and education systems, and supporting their economies amid the strain of hosting millions of refugees. In addition to providing humanitarian aid to refugees, this funding will be programmed in a manner that is mindful of the development needs of host countries and host communities in those countries.

Though nearly all of Syria’s population is affected by the conflict, Syria’s youth continue to pay the heaviest toll. With U.S. support, the UN and its NGO partners helped over 360,000 Syrian refugee children in neighboring countries enroll in school in 2014, triple the number enrolled in 2013. Despite this progress, the UN estimates that two million children inside Syria are out of school and one in five schools have been damaged or destroyed. In the region, the UN estimates that half of Syrian refugee children are not in school.

The onslaught against civilians and aid organizations by the Syrian regime and extremist groups we are seeing shows that the principles of humanitarianism that founded the United Nations remain under attack from multiple sides in Syria. We cannot allow this kind of regressive brutality to go unchallenged. Impartial and neutral humanitarian organizations must be allowed to do their jobs; civilians must be protected.

The United States remains committed to assisting those affected by this terrible war, and strongly urges all donors, organizations, and individuals concerned about the situation to contribute to the 2015 UN appeals.

U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for the Syria Crisis, By Country

INSIDE SYRIA: Nearly $270 million. Total to date: $1.82 billion

There are now 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, and U.S. humanitarian assistance reaches 5 million people across all of Syria’s 14 governorates. This new assistance will support life-saving food, emergency medical care, funding for shelter and critical water, and sanitation and hygiene projects to help those affected by the crisis. It will also provide critical relief supplies and much-needed counseling and protection programs to help the most vulnerable, including women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

Of special concern are Syria’s children who have been traumatized by war and many of whom have been out of school for more than two years. The new funding will support children’s needs in education, nutrition, health, and psychosocial care, while also providing additional safe and nurturing spaces for Syria’s children to learn, play, and deal with the stresses of conflict.

LEBANON: More than $118 million. Total to date: $792 million*

The UN estimates that Lebanon is the highest per capita refugee hosting country in the world. Today’s announcement increases support to both refugees and host communities. With the additional funding, UN and international organization partners can continue to deliver immediate cash assistance for food, rent assistance, education, healthcare, shelter assistance, and basic relief items like blankets, heaters, and hygiene kits. The UN is also using efficient electronic cards to distribute aid and reach more people in need.

The additional U.S. funding will also support Lebanese refugee-hosting communities through improvements in municipal water and sanitation systems, support to local community centers and clinics, and improving school facilities. The WFP program has had a direct impact on the local economy, creating over 1,300 jobs and enabling participating stores to double their revenue.

The number of refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon includes approximately 45,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria. Approximately half live in Palestinian refugee camps that were overcrowded even before the influx from Syria, with few resources and limited opportunities to improve their situation. Additional U.S. support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Lebanon provides needed aid, including cash, relief supplies, education, and medical care, to Palestinian refugees from Syria in camps and other communities.

JORDAN: Nearly $67 million. Total to date: $556 million*

In Jordan, 85 percent of Syrian refugees live outside of refugee camps, in Jordanian towns and cities. Our additional funding will benefit both refugees and Jordanian host communities.

Our additional support to Syrians in Jordan aims to alleviate the need for children to work instead of going to school by funding continued cash assistance to cover refugees’ basic needs and shelter costs. This funding also goes toward improving school facilities, so that all children, including those with disabilities, can access the education they need and deserve.

The WFP electronic food voucher program has led to $2.5 million investment in physical infrastructure by the participating retailers; created over 350 jobs in the food retail sector; and generated $6 million in additional tax receipts for the Jordanian government.

U.S. funding also includes support to UNRWA for the needs of some 15,000 Palestinian refugees in Jordan who have fled the conflict in Syria, helping vulnerable refugees access health care, educational services, and cash assistance for essential needs.

TURKEY: Nearly $28 million. Total to date: $259 million*

U.S. funding assists Turkey in addressing the humanitarian and protection needs of Syrian refugees in Turkish camps, urban areas, and host communities. This funding will be used to increase the number of social workers, child development specialists, psychologists and interpreters in refugee camps, as well as in 11 provinces hosting Syrian refugees. Funding to UNHCR will provide tents, blankets, kitchen sets, targeted support to particularly vulnerable refugees, and technical support to government authorities. Funding for UNICEF helps provide programming for children emphasizing life skills, as well as awareness-raising on landmines. WFP provides refugees with electronic food cards that allow families living in camps to purchase nutritious food items to meet their daily needs, and the World Health Organization coordinates the regional emergency health response to communicable diseases and will strengthen primary health care and disease surveillance, prevention, and response.

IRAQ: More than $17 million. Total to date: $165 million*

In Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government hosts 96 percent of Syrian refugees in the country, and has provided more than 2,000 square miles of land for the establishment of 11 camp and transit sites. This new funding will be used to repair health centers, expand schools, and improve water sanitation systems in the community. Other funding will go toward initiatives targeting women and girls, to provide vocational and language training, general literacy training and reproductive health.

EGYPT: Nearly $9 million. Total to date: $78 million*

The increased funding will provide assistance to Syrian refugees who continue to face significant challenges as urban refugees in Egypt. The U.S. contribution will assist humanitarian partners in expanding assistance in major refugee-hosting cities such as Cairo and Alexandria with community-focused projects for refugees and host families in an effort to address the deteriorating protection environment. Assistance will also target prevention of and responsiveness to gender-based violence, protection and education for children, increased self-reliance and livelihood opportunities, distribution of food vouchers, and improved access to health care services.

Funding Numbers by Country

Country Kuwait Announcement Total – Since FY 2012
Inside Syria $270 million $1.82 billion
Lebanon $118 million $792 million
Jordan $67 million $556 million
Turkey $28 million $259 million
Iraq $17 million $165 million
Egypt $9 million $78 million
TOTAL $508 million $3.69 billion

Funding Numbers by Organization

Organization Kuwait Announcement Total – Since FY 2012
UNHCR $144 million $914 million
WFP $100 million $1.168 billion
NGOs $108 million $834 million
UNRWA $57 million $241 million
UNICEF $61 million $300 million
Other (admin) $1 million $7 million
ICRC $23 million $103 million
IOM $2 million $26 million
WHO $0.4 million $30 million
UNFPA $8 million $26 million
UNFAO $2 million $3 million
UNDP $1 million $12 million
Other Organizations – – – – – $15 million
TOTAL $508 million $3.69 billion

*Figures are rounded to the nearest million and may not sum to total due to rounding