FACT SHEET: Vice President Joe Biden Announces $135 Million in Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Syria Crisis
Vice President Joe Biden announced today in Istanbul, Turkey that the United States is providing nearly $135 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help feed civilians affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria. With this announcement, the United States has provided more than $3 billion in critical humanitarian aid since the start of the crisis, including $222 million for international humanitarian organizations working with the Government of Turkey as they continue to help those affected by the war in Syria.
The new funding will help feed vulnerable people inside Syria; Syrian refugees in Turkey; and Syrian refugees in other neighboring countries. Turkey has generously committed substantial portions of its national resources to hosting an estimated 1.6 million refugees from Syria. The world has watched with great concern as more than 190,000 Syrians from Kobani fled to Turkey in recent weeks. The United States is grateful that Turkey kept its doors open to people fleeing the brutality of ISIL as well as the appalling atrocities committed by the Assad regime.
Of this total new U.S. funding for the Syria crisis, more than $132.8 million will go to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and other partners to respond to ongoing emergency food needs inside Syria and in countries hosting Syrian refugees, including Turkey. This includes $63 million for WFP’s operations inside Syria and $70 million for WFP’s operations benefiting Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. WFP’s operations, to which the United States remains the largest donor, feed millions of Syrians every month, including through household food ration deliveries inside Syria and distributions of food vouchers to refugees in neighboring countries.
Nearly $11 million of the new assistance will support the WFP in Turkey. WFP redirected hundreds of tons of food to the Suruc border district in response to the sudden recent influx of refugees and continues to work in close coordination with the Turkish government to feed hundreds of thousands of refugees daily. The new funding also includes nearly $2 million for the Turkish Red Crescent, through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies appeal for Turkey, to provide hot meals for Syrian refugees from Kobani. The work of WFP and the Turkish Red Crescent are critical to meeting the emergency food needs of Syrians seeking shelter in Turkish camps and urban settings.
Inside Syria, U.S. government partners keep people alive by reaching millions of people per month—often at great risk to partner staff—with household food rations and flour for bakeries. In neighboring countries, including Turkey, WFP’s food voucher program bolsters local economies stressed by the influx of Syrian refugees.
U.S. assistance to the Syrian people also includes a commitment to resettle thousands of the most vulnerable to the United States. As the largest resettlement country in the world, and one deeply committed to assisting the Syrian people, the United States will be a major participant in the international effort to resettle Syrian refugees from Turkey and elsewhere. The U.S. refugee resettlement program in Turkey is one of our largest programs worldwide. We intend to admit close to 7,000 refugees from Turkey in the coming year, including Iraqis, Iranians, and a growing number of Syrians.
The United States remains committed to supporting relief agencies working to meet the needs of Syrians throughout the region.
For more detailed information on the U.S. government’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, please visit: www.usaid.gov/crisis/syria.