Today, the United States announced $920 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Syria crisis response at the seventh Brussels Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region.” These funds, through USAID and the U.S. Department of State, will further support response efforts for vulnerable communities inside Syria, as well as Syrian refugees and host communities in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Türkiye.
This announcement comes in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye in February 2023. Humanitarian needs have reached the highest levels since the beginning of the conflict twelve years ago, with more than 70 percent of Syria’s population in need of assistance, including more than 12 million people that do not have enough to eat.
This additional funding will enable USAID humanitarian partners to continue providing urgently-needed emergency food and nutrition support, healthcare services, safe and dignified shelter for those displaced by conflict or natural disasters, access to safe and reliable sources of water, and psychosocial support and other protection services for conflict-affected communities. This assistance will be provided through UN and NGO partners, including local humanitarian organizations. The recent earthquake response highlighted the invaluable role of local relief actors who, despite being affected by the earthquake themselves, immediately mobilized to save lives and provide vital relief. Of the newly announced funds, $83 million are in direct support of the earthquake response efforts in Syria.
Unfettered humanitarian access throughout Syria is a top U.S. priority for Syria. Given the significant impacts of the earthquake in northwest Syria, it is vital that the UN Security Council re-authorize UN cross-border humanitarian assistance from Türkiye into Syria next month. These border crossings are a critical humanitarian lifeline that enables the UN to reach more than 4 million people in northwest Syria, many of whom will be coping with the aftermath of the February earthquake for years to come.
The United States remains the single largest humanitarian donor to the Syria response. With this new funding, the United States has provided more than $1.1 billion in humanitarian assistance throughout Syria and the region in FY 2023, and nearly $16.8 billion since the start of the crisis. It is imperative that other donors and the international community step forward to fill the robust funding gaps so that partners can respond at scale, save lives, and ensure aid is reaching the most vulnerable.