Today, on behalf of the American people, the President approved an additional $12 million in U.S. humanitarian assistance to support those most affected by the crisis in Syria. After nearly 17 months of conflict, the humanitarian situation is dire and rapidly deteriorating. The United Nations estimates that over 1.5 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, over 1 million people are internally displaced, and more than 130,000 people have sought refuge in neighboring countries. With these additional funds, the United States is now providing over $76 million in assistance for food, water, medical supplies, clothing, hygiene kits, and other humanitarian relief to those most urgently in need.
The United States applauds the generosity of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and others who are hosting and providing assistance to refugees fleeing the horrific atrocities perpetrated by Bashar al-Asad’s regime. Syria’s neighbors, along with the United Nations and international and local non-governmental organizations, are delivering humanitarian aid wherever possible within Syria and in the region. Our additional assistance will help their efforts to provide lifesaving assistance and reduce human suffering. As a leading provider of humanitarian relief to those affected by the crisis in Syria, the United States urges all countries around the world to contribute to the United Nations Syria humanitarian appeal. We also call on all parties to ensure the safety of civilians and aid workers, and the safe and unimpeded delivery of relief supplies to those in need.
The quickest way to end the bloodshed and suffering of the Syrian people is for Bashar al-Asad to recognize that the Syrian people will not allow him to continue in power, and to step aside to enable a peaceful political transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Syrian people. We call on all members of the international community to support a political transition in Syria, and we will continue to work with the opposition and our allies and partners to support an inclusive transition that guarantees the Syrian people their universal rights.