Today, at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting, “A Dialogue with the World’s Top Ten Donors on Global Humanitarian Needs,” hosted by the United States, we announced more than $720 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Syria both inside Syria and across the region. It includes more than $419 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance and more than $301 million from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. This brings the total U.S. humanitarian response since the start of the crisis to more than $12 billion.
Reflective of our long-standing commitment, the United States continues to be a leading donor of humanitarian assistance – both for the Syria response and around the world. Today’s announcement is part of ongoing U.S. efforts to provide life-saving protection, food, nutrition, shelter, education, medical care, livelihood opportunities, safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, and improved sanitation as well as mental health and psychosocial support to assist millions of Syrians in need – including the more than 12 million persons displaced since the start of the conflict. Our assistance will also help local communities hosting Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere. It focuses on the most vulnerable people, including children, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.
The international community must remain committed to meeting the increasing needs of the Syrian people, while also holding the Assad regime accountable for its devastating military campaign and brutal disregard for human rights, including the arbitrary detention of over 100,000 Syrian civilians, the vast majority of whose whereabouts are currently unknown. We must also remain committed to the delivery of cross-border humanitarian assistance, which is necessary to reach many of the most vulnerable populations. The actions of China and Russia in the UN Security Council have run contrary to explicit requests from the UN, including from the Secretary-General and from humanitarian experts on the ground regarding the urgent humanitarian needs of the Syrian people. In doing so, they have turned a blind eye to the millions of Syrians in dire need. The renewal of only a single crossing at Bab al-Hawa continues a negative trend of reducing humanitarian access for both Syrians in need and the selfless humanitarian workers who seek to alleviate their suffering. Significant gaps in meeting humanitarian needs have been further exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This dire humanitarian situation is not acceptable. We appreciate all donors who have stepped up and continue to encourage both traditional and new donors to increase their efforts to meet growing needs.
The United States will continue to promote freedom of movement, including for the millions of Syrians forcibly displaced by the reckless military campaign of the Assad regime and its allies. We also support the safe, voluntary, and dignified return and reintegration or resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons in a process that is free from coercion, and we again reaffirm our commitment to a credible and inclusive Syrian-led, UN-facilitated political solution pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 2254 to secure sustainable peace for the Syrian people.