USAID Administrator Green's Travel to Syria and Iraq

Readout

For Immediate Release

Monday, January 22, 2018
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

 

The following is attributable to Spokesperson Clayton M. McCleskey:

Today, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green traveled to Raqqa, Syria with General Joseph Votel, Commander of U.S. Central Command. Administrator Green is the highest-ranking civilian from the U.S. Government to visit Syria since the conflict began in 2011.

The Administrator joined General Votel to meet with individuals from USAID, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense, who are working to stabilize communities that only months ago were liberated from ISIS's brutal grip. These individuals are helping to restore essential services so that displaced people can safely and voluntarily return home. USAID and State Department personnel have deployed to Syria since May 2017 in order to assist with these stabilization efforts in areas liberated from ISIS. Since the start of the crisis, the United States has provided more than $875 million in non-lethal and stabilization assistance to the Syrian people, in areas under the control of the Syrian opposition. This assistance is designed to serve as a bulwark against extremists who seek to exploit vacuums in security and services in non-regime held areas.

While in Syria, Administrator Green also met with members of the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team, who are leading the U.S. humanitarian response in Syria, where 80 percent of the population needs humanitarian aid. The United States remains the world's leading single-country donor of humanitarian assistance for the Syrian response, providing nearly $7.7 billion throughout Syria and the region since the start of the crisis in March 2011. The Administrator also visited a U.S.-supported camp for internally displaced persons.

Before traveling to Syria, Administrator Green traveled to Baghdad, where he met with Lise Grande, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. They discussed recent measures that were implemented to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of stabilization efforts in Iraq, including on-going U.S.-backed efforts to better ensure that assistance reaches those most in need, including Iraq's ethnic and religious minorities. The Administrator stressed the importance of religious pluralism and diversity for the future of Iraq. He also met with representatives from non-governmental organizations working in the Ninewa Plains, where USAID is expanding bilateral partnerships to provide additional assistance to Iraqis, particularly for religious and ethnic minorities as they seek to return to their homes in areas liberated from ISIS. The Administrator also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and USAID staff at the U.S. Mission to Iraq.

Last updated: March 30, 2018

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