US announces $108 million assistance to Syrian people
Kelly Craft (L), the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., and James Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy for Syria engagement and fight against ISIL, arrived in Turkey on March 2, amid escalating tensions in Syria's last rebel stronghold. (AA Photo)
The United States has announced an additional $108 million assistance to the Syrian people amid a new refugee influx towards the Turkish borders due to intensified military operations by the Syrian regime backed by Russia.
“To date, the generosity of the American people has facilitated a total U.S. humanitarian response to the crisis in Syria of $10.5 billion. To express our continued commitment, today the Trump Administration is announcing an additional $108 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Syria,” Kelly Craft, the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., said in a statement on March 3 as she traveled to the Turkish-Syrian border.
Craft paid a visit to Hatay and Gaziantep provinces, both on the Syrian border, and observed one of the two remaining U.N.-authorized cross-border lifelines facilitating humanitarian assistance to the people of northwestern Syria, particularly Idlib.
Idlib is a Syrian province where around 4 million people are suffering from continued military operations by the regime that lead to a fresh refugee move towards the Turkish borders. Turkey says more than a million Syrians are now being sheltered in makeshift camps on the Syrian side of the border.
“These funds will help provide life-saving food, shelter, winter clothing, blankets, medicine, and safe drinking water to assist Syrians in need both inside Syria and the region,” she stressed.
The U.S. is determined that the U.N. Security Council renew the authorization for both Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salam border crossings when their mandates expire in July. Russia has recently vetoed efforts to open new U.N.-authorized channels into Idlib.
“Yet for the last three months, Assad regime forces—supported by Russia and Iran—have escalated an all-out military offensive against the people of Idlib, killing hundreds and forcing nearly a million civilians to flee for their lives,” she added.
Craft is accompanied with other senior U.S. officials and is expected to hold talks in Ankara on March 4 with Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal.