US announces additional humanitarian aid for countries hosting Syrian refugees


Syrian refugees

The US Government is providing $10m in additional humanitarian assistance to the countries hosting more than three million Syrian refugees.

Announced by the US Population, Refugees and Migration secretary Anne Richard at an international conference on the Syrian Refugee Situation - Supporting Stability in the Region, in Germany, the aid is expected to help address many needs.

Specifically, the funding will be used to improve schools, buy textbooks and supplies, build health clinics, support staff from local communities, and also improve and extend water and sewer infrastructure.

The US Department of State (DoS) said in a statement: "Of the more than three million refugees from Syria, 80% live in urban areas.

"Countries need sustained international support to help cover the escalating costs of hosting so many refugees."

The US has provided more than $2.9bn in humanitarian assistance in Syria and throughout the Middle East since the start of the conflict in March 2011, roughly half of which has supported organisations working to meet the needs of refugees in neighbouring countries.

The Syrian civil war has forced more than half of the country's population to flee their homes and seek refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"Countries need sustained international support to help cover the escalating costs of hosting so many refugees."

In addition, nearly 6.5 million civilians have been displaced, while 11 million are in need of assistance.

The US is also urging the Middle Eastern countries to continue to accept Syrian civilians fleeing the violence.

The DoS added: "We know that governments and communities in neighbouring countries are straining to handle this massive influx of refugees. Nonetheless, it is critical that those fleeing violence are able to seek refuge."

More than 8,000 Syrians are believed to have fled their homes to seek refuge in Turkey and Iraq's Kurdistan region in recent days, following Islamic State (IS) attacks on the Syrian border city of Kobane.

The US, along with its Arab allies, is also conducting air strikes in Kobane as part of Operation Inherent Resolve to draw out IS fighters, who have seized territory in Syria and Iraq.


Image: Syrian refugee children at a clinic in Ramtha, Jordan. Photo: courtesy of the UK Department for International Development.

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