A Note on U.S. Humanitarian Aid Reaching Syria and Neighboring Countries

Posted by Robert S. Ford
June 12, 2012
Man Rides Bicycle in Homs, Syria

During my tenure in Syria, my main focus was strengthening the relationship between the American and Syrian people. During this difficult, violent, and dangerous time in Syria's history, the American people are proud to support your transition to democracy, an ongoing process which we began a mere 236 years ago.

Through the U.S. government, they have also provided over $52 million to humanitarian assistance efforts for Syrian people suffering from the ongoing violence inside Syria and for those who have fled the violence and are now in neighboring countries. I know that this assistance does not meet all the needs for those who are suffering, but we will continue to provide assistance throughout this difficult period to as many Syrians in need as possible.

Here is the breakdown of the humanitarian aid:

- $16.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);

- $14.9 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs);

- $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);

- $8 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);

- $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA);

- $750,000 to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and

- $500,000 to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

This assistance from the American people has paid for medical services and supplies, food and water, blankets and heaters, and basic hygiene kits. Receipt of this aid is based on need, not political affiliation. The dedicated work teams responsible for distributing these goods and services have only paused in their mission when security issues have hampered their passage.

International organizations have identified approximately 300,000 internally displaced Syrians including 45,000 in Homs, 15,000 in Hama, and 14,500 in Iblid and rural Damascus. Additionally, the UNHCR believes that over 76,500 Syrians have fled Syria for neighboring countries. We are working to provide as much assistance as possible to those with the deepest need.

Here is a breakdown of what we and our partners are providing and where:

- Inside of Syria we are paying for critical medical services and supplies, food, water, blankets, hygiene kits, and household items to the Syrian people targeting more than 400,000 people.

- In Turkey, UNHCR has provided 3,100 family tents and 23,880 blankets in support of the Turkish government's humanitarian response to the displaced Syrians in Turkey; UNHCR preparations are underway to provide an additional 2,000 family tents, 10,000 blankets, and 2,000 kitchen sets.

- In Lebanon, our partners have distributed 17,000 core relief items, more than 15,500 food kits, and more than 13,000 hygiene kits in north Lebanon.

- In Jordan, mobile medical units are also free of charge and travel to newly arrived Syrian populations in need. Almost 400 individuals have received non-food items, such as blankets, mattresses, cooking sets and other items. WFP distributed food rations through partners to 12,615 Syrians who are living in host communities. Additionally, WFP provided more than 30,315 hot meals in transit centers since April 19, 2012.

- In Iraq, Domiz camp comprised 254 family tents and 35 tents for single individuals. Water and septic tanks have been installed and connected. The construction of 125 individual cooking areas has just started in the families' section. UNHCR has installed three playgrounds while a partner organization has also installed a tent for child-related activities.

Finally, consistent with longstanding U.S. government efforts to support the peaceful opposition in Syria, we are also providing non-lethal aid, including communication equipment, to peaceful democracy activists. The United States will continue to coordinate our efforts with the international community in order to increase pressure on the regime and have the biggest impact on what we are collectively doing.

Editor's Note: This entry appeared first on the U.S. Embassy Syria Facebook page.

Comments

Comments

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
June 13, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

@ Ambassador Ford --

Thank you Ambassador Ford for the timely note on humanitarian aid to displaced Syrians at this dire epoch. The need is great and so forge ahead. It is so good to see you posts at this time to remind folks that the U.S. Department of State's mission is steadfast in the goal of global stability! We follow with angst.

“our freedom is best protected by ensuring that others are free; our prosperity depends on the prosperity of others; and our security relies on a global effort to secure the rights of all.”

palgye
|
South Korea
June 14, 2012

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Iran...

China's economic growth, a strong economic recovery in the United States would be the propellant, personally, I think.

PS

Food aid to North Korea, the support groups as a precondition for the positive control, save the starving children, for food assistance is considered necessary. For aggressive control of North Korea, the control of food, owned by influential people you think are absolute. Would you like a check on China? So, the U.S. food aid for North Korea to start jikjeokjeopin think. However, I am in the U.S. and China friendly relations of checks and balances should be. (With Russia)

Close contact with China and Russia in order to counterbalance China and the United States to maintain absolute friendship, I think the appropriate way to react is up to.

And in Peru, South Koreans were killed in the crash chpper. However, aggressive rescue efforts of the Peruvian government, impressed me a lot to offer. If I have the ability, a lot of support to the Peruvian government to think of the review. Appropriate level of support of the U.S. White House and State Department, but .... comments, I'd say, I will support Peru.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 13, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Amb. Ford, c/c Sec. Of State Clinton;

RE;

"Finally, I would say that part of the reason why this is complicated in the face of a clear rejection of what the Assad regime is doing is because there is such a fear among many elements of the Syrian society and in the region about what would come next. You haven’t had a wholesale departure, support, or even into exile of a lot of major players in the Syrian society. We are approached on a regular basis by representatives of different groups within Syria who are terrified of what comes next. I don't know how else to say it.

So how we manage a political transition, assuming we could manage a political transition; how we provide reassurance and some level of protection to Christians, Druze, Alawites, Kurds, Sunni business leaders and the like; how we prevent a massive inflow of refugees across the Jordanian and Turkish borders; how we protect Lebanon from getting caught up in the sectarian divides that afflict them as well as Syria – if these questions had self-apparent and actualizing answers, I would certainly share them with you. But as things stand, this is our constant, painful analysis as to how we can push the Assad regime out – there’s no doubt it needs to go – but create a transition that gives at least some possible reassurance to those who fear what comes next."

-Sec. Clinton

Joint Discussion with Israeli President Shimon Peres Hosted by the Brookings Institution

The Hay Adams Hotel

Washington, DC

June 12, 2012

'http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/06/192200.htm'

President Peres delved into some pretty deep insite when he stated, "Hillary is dealing with global responsibility, which is a totally different thing." (as compared with what are called international relations generally speaking)

Well, I often talk about "regime replacement therapy" as the primary method of rendering humanitarian aid directly to a repressed population under siege and put in harm's way by its government, but Madam Secretary will be pleased to know that it's the women who will become the primary therapists in any future that the Syrian people may look forward to.

For it is they who will teach their children to appreciate peace.

But first nations must agree to create an Assad-free zone in Syria and demilatarize his forces as well as any rouge groups acting on his behalf by acting in partnership to completely take over Syria and turn it into a temp. UN protectorate something like East Timor was, and with a pledge of helping the Syrian people rebuild the shattered remains of what Assad's legacy has left them.

That includes Russia and China, as one's turn to bat is up, and the other's on deck with History pitching fast sliders in excess of 100 mph.

Folks have got their civil war through inaction and UN veto..."time to get with the program or get out of the way", is what those nations that still support Assd's regime need to be told at this point.

That the fears they have about replacing Assad will be greatly mitigated by their active participation in physicly removing him and assuring peace is created from scratch in the aftermath.

Whether that be the Arab league, or anyone else concerned and not willing to put up with this slaughter of innocents any longer.

Mr. Lavrov speaks of nations seeking control of Syria, and quite simply the world needs to get control of Syria in order to safeguard Assad's chemical weapons.

If Lavrov thinks he's feeling the diplomatic heat right now, ask him how he'll like roasting in hell when Assad uses these WMD's on his people?

The Russian Federation will not hear the end of it from all quaters. China will lose both any face it has to lose, as well as the mask it wears preaching "non-interventionalism", on the world stage.

Be advised, that there are some who's interest in seeing relation between the US/China/Russia go South over the crisis Assad had initiated, and confound the ability of Annan's plan to be implemented by their influence upon Assad himself, acting as his good ally and friend while seeking to destabilize the entire region for their own religious hegemonic goals.

Russia wants to bring Iran in on the discussions, like they think the Iranians can help stop the vviolence or something, well they can start by not being state sponsors of terrorism and adding to the atrocities commited in Syria.

Same for the Russians , but all they have to do is stop selling Assad weapons to help improve the situation, that's a lot easier politically than what may be expected of the Iranians.

Keep up the good work and keep telling it like it is,

EJ

central14
June 14, 2012

W.W. writes:

freedom flottilla for syria

lavrov a disgrace for humanity and future generation : as man who prefer to save interest over children-

Russia selling helicopters to syria gov ?

they are used against children

US arming rebels ?

they are used against tanks and helicopters

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 14, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(continued musings)

I find it ironic and somewhat absurd that the Russians have such a problem with "regime change" in Syria when they had none in regards to Georgia and were looking forward to the day.

Well here again I gotta stress the need to educate folks what regime replacement therapy is all about, and trading places in leadership roles doesn't exactly qualify as experience in "on the job training".

I should ask Mr. Putin to consider trying an alternative foreign policy to the contrary nature of the one the Russian federation seems inclined to apply to those who rule so abomimonably as Assad has to date.

I think he needs to understand that this is the Arab form of "re-call election", when their leadership disgraces themselves in the eyes of its people.

Better the Russians don't try this at home.

EJ

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
June 14, 2012

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

I guess countries like Russia do not care about the loss of life in Syria, all knowing the Syrian Government is destroying it's own people in the streets. Its a true tradegy that greed comes before humanity. How many times have we made the point over again, Russia sells weapons to countries that engage in mass casualties of human life. Why hasn't the United Nations placed a ban on Weapons being sold to any Nation that is willing to kill its own people. Russia needs to rethink about the casualties of innocent lives before making a sale. I agree with Mrs. Hillery Clinton on this one. She is right! Russia should be held accountable for the lives taken in Syria for the equipment they manufactured that aided in the destruction of innocent lives. Anytime a country sells a weapon that is used on Innocent lives, a price has to be paid. I think Mr. Puton needs to address this issue and find a solution, before more lives are lossed. There should be a world Ammendment 8 that gives all people around the globe a chance to live with human rights and treated and respected like human beings! Not slaughtered because you disagree with the politics or religion. Freedom of Humanity!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 15, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

One can only hope Mr. Lavrov does not believe everything that comes oput of his mouth as spokesperson for the Russian Federation, and if he's as personally disgusted with his government's approach on this issue as I am, well then I would be perfectly willing to offer the man my appologies for my harsh words, but that would require a personal explanation from him for his asinine positions held in regards to Syria in order for me to ever give one to him.

As for this government...the sec. of State is doing her best at the President's direction to achive "regime replacement therapy" by diplomacy in support of Annan's plan.

It's not that the Annan plan is "dead" as some would suggest, it's just not enforcible under its current designed implementation...thus my suggestion to do that and create a political process as Syria is "demilitarized" by a host of nations and a UN protectorate is created to allow a stable , peaceful trasnsition to take place.

I think it's high time the President got off the campaign stump for a spell and started to use the international bully pulpit of his office to lend a hand to his Sec of State to get this crisis resolved.

Simply for the fact that the world is moving to fast for him to rest on his foreign policy laurals and expect to have that record get him elected...there's stuff that needs doing that would show the electorate why he's the man for the job, when folks are asking America, "what have you done to free us lately from tyrany?"

I disagree with the pundits and talking heads, because this election isn't just about the economic vitality of America, it's about who we are and what we do, economicly and otherwise to create the kind of world we want our kids to grow up in.

I don't think the President has lost touch with this as he has kids, but maybe some of his campaign advisors have.

Time to re-write the script to this horror movie on our terms, not the Russian's nor Assad's.

And the President is just the man to do that.

EJ

stock38
June 17, 2012

W.W. writes:

Syrian Intervention Is Justifiable, and Just

by Anne-Marie Slaughter

not from a mob an elite which antidemocrately it is leading the west europe antrying the mideast

an intervention of anykind and anywhere must be done from a society that has nothing to hide and more importantly don't put his own population under financial slavery with the clear intent of controlling its own citizen selling a flase idea and illusion of democracy

the one writing the following piece is part of it :

Henry Kissinger recently argued against intervention in Syria [“The perils of intervention in Syria,” Sunday Opinion, June 3] on the grounds that it would imperil the foundation of world order. His analysis was based on a straw man, one put forward by the Russian and Chinese governments, that outside intervention would seek to “bring about regime change.”

The point of an intervention in Syria would be to stop the killing — to force Bashar al-Assad and his government to meet the demands of the Syrian people with reforms rather than guns. If the killing stopped, it is not clear what shape the political process would adopt, how many millions would take to the streets or whom different factions would support. The majority of Syrians would almost certainly demand that Assad leave office, but by the ballot box or a negotiated political settlement that would leave the Syrian state — in the sense of bureaucracy, the army, the courts — largely intact. The chaos and horrific violence in Iraq resulted in large part from the U.S. determination to destroy those institutions along with Saddam Hussein.

As a cautionary tale, Kissinger and others point not only to Iraq but also to Libya. Kissinger lumped Libya in with Yemen, Somalia and northern Mali as a “blank space” on the map “denoting lawlessness.” Yet political scientist Juan Cole, who recently visited Libya, where he expected a fair degree of chaos, reports that in Benghazi, Misrata and Tripoli, “there were no militiamen to be seen, that most things were functioning normally, that there were police at traffic intersections, that there were children’s carnivals open till late, families out, that jewelry shops were open till 8 pm, [and] that Arabs and Africans were working side by side.” The Economist reached the same conclusion early this year, reporting on relatively optimistic economic prospects.

Kissinger is right that in the end NATO’s operations in Libya looked like an effort to remove Moammar Gaddafi from office, not because NATO planes took out command-and-control facilities in Tripoli from which Gaddafi and his generals were ordering civilian massacres but because NATO planes never sought to protect civilians supporting the regime against opposition troops. The response to this concern, however, is not to oppose intervention in Syria but to support a U.N. Security Council resolution with clear parameters about a limited use of force.

Such a resolution, which would have to follow a request by the Arab League, should resolve to protect the establishment of no-kill zones by local Syrian authorities by whatever means necessary, short of foreign troops on the ground. These means would include the provision of intelligence and communications equipment, antitank and anti-mortar weapons, and, crucially, air support against Syrian government tanks and troops that seek to enter or overrun a zone. The provision of such support would also require the disabling of Syrian air defenses.

Proposing this type of action would force the Russian and Chinese governments to come clean about the real motives for their positions. Even if Libya had never happened, would Russia really be willing to allow intervention in Syria? Assad would still be one of Moscow’s principal allies in the Middle East. Russia would still have port facilities at Tartus. It would still want to protect the principle that a government can suppress popular demonstrations by any means it chooses, including the kinds of crimes against humanity, indeed near-genocide, that Vladi­mir Putin ordered in Chechnya at the turn of the century.

Kissinger claimed that the Russian and Chinese governments are upholding the foundations of a world order that the United States should not lightly cast aside, an order in which sovereignty gives a government the right to rule its people and territory without intervention from other states and a corresponding obligation not to intervene in the affairs of others. It is true that this principle is enshrined in the United Nations Charter, but four years after the charter was passed U.N. members also adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights..... cont "http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/syrian-intervention-justifiable-and-...(New+Atlanticist)"

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