The United States said it has provided more than $76 million in humanitarian relief aid to those affected by the violence in Syria and that the aid has reached an estimated 500,000 people inside the country and thousands other who have fled to neighboring countries.
“The United States has provided $76 million dollars in humanitarian assistance to international and nongovernmental organizations that are working now in many parts of Syria to try to reach those most in need. This support has also provided assistance to displaced in the neighboring countries,” said Kelly Clements, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration.
U.N. agencies and other international and local nongovernmental organization are distributing humanitarian assistance throughout the country.
“The work of these organizations includes such essential services as food, water, sanitation, non-food items, livelihoods for families, and important protection to be able to address the most urgent needs. We need others to join in supporting these organizations with funding and support. This kind of support is critical in order for those organizations to respond as rapidly and as effectively as possible, to meet urgent humanitarian needs for all those fleeing the violence in Syria,” Clements said.
Escalating violence in Syria has made it difficult to access populations who require humanitarian assistance.
“The United States has provided significant funding to reach Syrians. We are concerned that the assistance won’t reach them because of the difficulties in access,” said Nancy Lindborg, USAID Asst Administrator.
“We’re trying every possible way to enable that assistance to reach populations in gravest needs. Right now we need to have access. There needs to be the ability of that assistance to reach the people who need it the most,” Lindborg added.
U.N. agencies are operating with reduced international staff due to security constraints, and rising violence in Damascus and Aleppo is limiting the movement for both residents to seek supplies and relief agencies to deliver them.
The United Nations estimates that up to 1.5 million people in Syria are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, with approximately 10 million people affected by the violence.
With one million people internally displaced, shelter is a growing need as Syrian host communities have reached the capacity of their ability to house the displaced.
More than 200,000 Syrian refugees have fled the deadly in the country since the beginning of the crisis last year, the United Nations has said.