President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. is providing an additional $155 million in humanitarian aid for people in Syria and refugees fleeing the violence stemming from the uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The new round of aid increases America's total humanitarian contribution to Syria to $365 million, making the U.S. the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people.
"This new aid will mean more warm clothing for children and medicine for the elderly; flour and wheat for your families and blankets, boots and stoves for those huddled in damaged buildings," Obama said in a video message to the Syrian people. "It will mean health care for victims of sexual violence and field hospitals for the wounded."
He added, "Even as we work to end the violence against you, this aid will help address some of the immediate needs you face each day."
Obama also called on the international community to do more to help Syrians in need and to contribute to the latest U.N. humanitarian appeal.
On Monday, a senior United Nations relief official warned that humanitarian needs triggered by the Syrian conflict were growing more acute with each passing day and said that the U.N. and its partners were facing a shortage of funds to finance their efforts to address the current situation.
John Ging, Director of Operations for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), urged nations to contribute more funds to assist millions of needy Syrians facing a deteriorating situation inside the country and particularly a harsh winter.
"The situation in Syria, as we all know, continues to deteriorate and that means that there are greater needs… more people in need but also that the needs are more acute as the coping mechanisms continue to collapse," Ging told a news conference in New York.
In a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that many Syrians may not know that the aid they are receiving is provided by the U.S., noting that humanitarian aid providers and recipients are being deliberately targeted.
"Our priority is to get American aid to those in need without endangering them or our humanitarian partners, which is why much of our aid is provided quietly and without fanfare and acknowledgement," Carney said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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