US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday that the US would provide more than $596 million in new humanitarian assistance to respond to the Syrian crisis.
According to Blinken, the assistance is aimed at many of Syria’s projected 13.4 million residents as well as 5.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, announced the aid during an international conference on supporting Syria, he said.
Thomas-Greenfield urged the international community to provide all Syrians with unconditional humanitarian access, including cross-border assistance. In January 2020, the United Nations Security Council approved the continuation of a six-year-old cross-border aid operation from two locations in Turkey, but dropped crossing points from Iraq and Jordan due to opposition from Russia and China.
Blinken said the re-authorization and expansion of the cross-border mandate in July is a U.S. priority.
“The Syrian people have faced innumerable atrocities, including Assad regime and Russian airstrikes, forced disappearances, ISIS brutality, and chemical weapons attacks,” Blinken said.
“Moreover, the Assad regime’s structural corruption and economic mismanagement have exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 challenge.”