Washington, DC - Secretary Kerry announced today that the United States is providing nearly $601 million in additional life-saving humanitarian assistance for those affected by the war in Syria. This new funding brings U.S. humanitarian assistance in response to this conflict to more than $5.1 billion since the start of the crisis. Secretary Kerry also announced more than $290 million in U.S. development assistance for education to Jordan and Lebanon.

The Syrian conflict is the largest and most complex humanitarian emergency of our time, with more than two-thirds of Syria’s pre-war population—17 million people—in need of humanitarian assistance. Through this humanitarian funding, the United States continues to provide food, shelter, water, medical care, humanitarian protection, and other urgent relief to millions of people suffering inside Syria and 4.6 million refugees from Syria in the region. It also helps mitigate the impact of the crisis on governments and communities throughout the region that are straining to cope with the mass influx of refugees from Syria.

The humanitarian assistance supports the operations of the United Nations, other international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Through these organizations, the United States is able to provide assistance in all 14 governorates of Syria, helping the people who need it most—and ultimately saving lives and alleviating suffering amid daily threats of violence and deprivation.

Our assistance supports critical humanitarian needs including those addressed in the 2016 UN appeal of $8 billion for Syria and the region. Part of the new funding responds directly to the appeal. Contributions from other donors are crucial to meeting emergency needs in 2016. The Assad regime continues to barrel bomb cities, use starvation as a weapon of war, and target civilians in schools, mosques, markets, and hospitals while violent extremist groups like ISIL and Al Nusrah Front also continue to brutalize Syrians every day. In addition to the horror of war in Syria, we also see the plight of refugees fleeing the region to European countries and are reminded of the need to provide humanitarian assistance and to promote inclusion and self-reliance in countries of first asylum. The United States reiterates that all parties to the conflict must cease unlawful attacks on civilians and comply with international law.

More than $290 million in U.S. development assistance will continue to support the Jordanian and Lebanese ministries of education in their goal of increasing access to high-quality education and supporting learning for all students, including Syrian refugees. Our education assistance will reach approximately 230,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, and 62,000 in Lebanon.

The United States recognizes that along with emergency relief, we must address the long-term development needs of Syria’s neighbors, and the funding we are providing will continue to

support communities in neighboring countries that have so generously hosted those refugees. There are 4.6 million Syrian refugees in the region today, the vast majority of whom receive support in the first country to which they flee. As we saw with the exodus to Europe this summer, Syrians who cannot find protection and assistance in Syria and neighboring countries, make difficult decisions to undertake dangerous journeys at great personal peril.

The humanitarian crises around the world have made painfully clear that despite our best efforts, all nations must do more. As Secretary Kerry recently announced, the United States is seeking commitments to expand the humanitarian safety net and create more long-term, durable opportunities for refugees worldwide. U.S. efforts to galvanize significant new global commitments will build toward a high-level summit on refugees hosted by President Obama at the United Nations General Assembly in September. This event will be the culmination of a vigorous, sustained diplomatic effort undertaken by the United States over the coming months to increase humanitarian assistance, access to resettlement and other legal forms of admission, and refugee self-reliance and inclusion through employment and education.

The United States remains committed to assisting those affected by this terrible war and strongly urges all governments, organizations, and individuals concerned about the situation to support the life-saving aid efforts of UN and other partners.

Highlights of Humanitarian Assistance:

UNHCR: More than $191 million

UNHCR’s Syria operation is now the organization’s largest refugee assistance operation; UNHCR provides both immediate support to new refugees and continuous support to vulnerable refugees. UNHCR also works with other UN agencies to assist persons in need inside Syria. The funding allows UNHCR to continue providing refugees and internally-displaced persons with shelter, protection (including registration, child protection, gender-based violence prevention and response, and mental health support), and daily necessities, either in-kind such as blankets, bedding, and cooking utensils or through cash assistance. UNHCR’s efforts are increasingly focused on assistance to non-camp refugees and host communities as well as refugees in camps. In various locations throughout the region, in addition to the above, UNHCR also works in the areas of education, health care and employment support.

WFP: $83 million

Millions of Syrians, both inside the country and in neighboring countries, cannot independently fulfill their basic food needs and risk going hungry without continued international assistance. New USG funding will enable WFP to continue vital food assistance to millions of conflict-affected people inside Syria and to Syrian refugees in five neighboring countries. With USG support, WFP will continue to provide monthly household food parcels inside Syria, as well as vouchers to pregnant women and nursing mothers to improve their nutrition. In neighboring countries, WFP will continue to provide food voucher debit cards, which refugees use to buy groceries in local supermarkets, improving household nutrition and the appropriateness of available foods. To date, the food voucher debit cards have injected $1.25 billion into the economies of Syria’s neighbors, creating economic benefits for the nations and communities hosting refugees.

UNICEF: More than $73 million

Syria’s children continue to pay a heavy toll in the conflict. They constitute half of Syria’s refugees and internally displaced persons. Inside Syria, over two million children are out of school and one of every four schools has been damaged or destroyed. As a result, many Syrian children in the country have little or no access to educational opportunities, and those arriving in neighboring countries as refugees are behind in schooling and face limited education opportunities. Today’s announcement allows UNICEF to continue its child protection, education, child health, vaccinations and water and sanitation programs throughout the region, demonstrating the United States’ strong support of the No Lost Generation initiative to invest in the future of the region.

Humanitarian Assistance Funding Numbers by Organization


This Announcement

New Total – Since FY 2012


$191 million

$1.3 billion


$83 million

$1.3 billion


$159 million

$1.3 billion


$73 million

$465 million


$48 million

$329 million


$32 million

$181 million


$7 million

$55 million


$1 million

$45 million


$7 million

$38 million

Other International Organizations


$34 million

Other (admin)


$7.4 million


$601 million

$5.1 billion