US announces US$593 million in humanitarian assistance for Syria

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United States, USAID, Syria

On May 27, 2024, the United States made a significant announcement at the 8th Ministerial meeting of the Brussels Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region”. Samantha Power, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), revealed that nearly $593 million in humanitarian assistance would be provided to Syria. This substantial contribution underscores the US’s ongoing commitment to addressing the dire humanitarian crisis that has gripped Syria for over a decade.

This latest pledge brings the total US government humanitarian assistance to Syria and the region to nearly $2 billion since the beginning of fiscal year 2023. Over the course of the 13-year Syrian conflict, the United States has contributed more than $17.8 billion in humanitarian aid. This long-standing commitment highlights the US’s dedication to supporting the Syrian people through one of the most prolonged and complex humanitarian crises of our time.

The Syrian conflict, which began in 2011, has resulted in one of the largest and most complex humanitarian emergencies in recent history. Over 16.7 million people within Syria are in need of assistance, while nearly 6 million Syrian refugees are scattered across neighboring countries. The conflict has caused widespread displacement, severe food insecurity, and the destruction of infrastructure, leaving millions without access to basic services.

The nearly $593 million in aid announced by the US will address these urgent humanitarian needs. Administrator Power emphasized the deteriorating situation for refugees in the region, noting the increasing anti-refugee rhetoric and the importance of ensuring that any return of Syrian refugees is safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable. The humanitarian needs are unprecedented, driven by years of conflict, terrorism, and natural disasters, which have compounded the suffering of the Syrian people.

The US humanitarian assistance will be distributed through various international and local partners to address a wide array of needs:

Emergency Shelter: Providing safe and secure shelter for those displaced by conflict, including tents, prefabricated housing, and essential household items.

Food Assistance: Ensuring access to nutritious food to combat hunger and malnutrition, including food vouchers, cash transfers, and direct food distributions.

Healthcare Access: Offering medical care to those affected by the crisis, including emergency services, maternal and child health, mental health support, and vaccination campaigns.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH): Supplying clean water and sanitation facilities to prevent disease and promote hygiene, including the construction of latrines, water purification systems, and hygiene kits.

Education: Facilitating access to education for children and youth who have been uprooted by the conflict, including school supplies, teacher training, and psychosocial support.

Livelihood Support: Helping individuals rebuild their lives through vocational training, small business grants, and employment programs.

Protection for Vulnerable Groups: Providing support and protection for women, children, LGBTQI+ individuals, and persons with disabilities who are in particularly vulnerable situations, including legal assistance, safe spaces, and specialized services.

These efforts are being carried out in collaboration with international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and numerous local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The goal is to deliver life-saving assistance and protection to those in dire need while also supporting the resilience and self-sufficiency of host communities.

While humanitarian aid is crucial in alleviating immediate suffering, Administrator Power reiterated that a political solution is the only way to truly end the Syrian crisis. She called for a resolution in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which outlines a roadmap for a political transition in Syria. This resolution emphasizes the need for a ceasefire, the drafting of a new constitution, and free and fair elections under UN supervision.

The United States remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting respect for human dignity and human rights for all Syrians. This includes supporting Syrian civil society in its pursuit of justice and accountability for human rights violations and abuses. The US continues to advocate for a comprehensive and inclusive political process that addresses the root causes of the conflict and paves the way for lasting peace and stability.

US has consistently been one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid to Syria, and this latest announcement further solidifies its leadership role in international humanitarian efforts. The US government also urged other nations and donors to continue their support for the Syrian people, emphasizing that global solidarity is crucial in addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by Syria.

The international community’s collective response is essential in providing the necessary resources to meet the vast needs of the Syrian population. Other nations and organizations are encouraged to step up their contributions to ensure that the humanitarian response remains robust and effective. The US believes that coordinated efforts and shared responsibility are vital in addressing the ongoing crisis.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, the humanitarian situation has grown increasingly complex and dire. Millions of Syrians have been displaced from their homes, with many living in precarious conditions in refugee camps or informal settlements. The provision of US aid has been instrumental in mitigating the worst impacts of the crisis, providing critical services and support to those in need.

The $593 million aid package announced at the Brussels VIII Conference is a testament to the enduring commitment of the United States to support the Syrian people. It represents a comprehensive effort to address immediate humanitarian needs while also laying the groundwork for long-term recovery and stability. Through partnerships with international and local organizations, the US aims to deliver effective and impactful aid that reaches those who need it most.

The announcement of nearly $593 million in humanitarian assistance for Syria by the United States at the Brussels Conference marks a significant step in addressing the ongoing crisis. This substantial contribution highlights the US commitment to alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people and supporting their path to recovery. As the international community continues to grapple with the complexities of the Syrian conflict, sustained and coordinated efforts will be essential in providing relief and fostering a hopeful future for Syria and its people.

US remains dedicated to its role as a leading humanitarian donor and advocate for the Syrian people. The comprehensive and multifaceted approach to humanitarian aid, combined with a strong commitment to a political solution, reflects the United States’ deep concern for the plight of Syrians. By continuing to work with international partners and encouraging global solidarity, the US aims to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of those affected by the Syrian crisis.

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