United States Pledges $419 Million In Additional Humanitarian Aid For Refugees

Good news.

On September 21, the International Day of Peace, the U.S. Department of State made an announcement that $419 million in additional humanitarian aid would be offered to help care for the millions of Syrian refugees displaced by the Syrian civil war. This brings America's total aid package to $4.5 billion.

Syrian children at a refugee camp in Turkey. Photo: RadekProcyk via iStockphoto
Syrian children at a refugee camp in Turkey. Photo: RadekProcyk via iStockphoto www.istockphoto.com

The additional funds are going toward basic necessities for those living in refugee camps, including food, water, medicine, clothing, and other shelter supplies.

The bulk of the money, over $236 million, will go towards non-governmental organizations in the region and to the countries nearest Syria incurring the largest economic burden by taking in refugees. The balance will be split up between several other institutions providing care for refugees, including UNHCR, UNICEF, and WHO, among many others.

Syrian women riding on a truck en route to a refugee camp in Lebenon. Photo: AhmadSabra via iStockphoto
Syrian women riding on a truck en route to a refugee camp in Lebenon. Photo: AhmadSabra via iStockphoto www.istockphoto.com

The United States is also poised to take in 85,000 refugees during FY 2016, and another 100,000 in 2017. It's an admirable figure, even if it pales in comparison to the number of refugees being taken in by smaller European countries. 

Of course, there's only one country most of these refugees want to be in: Syria. They would much prefer for the civil war to end and for the area to stabilize so they can live with their families in their own homes. Living in refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, and other nearby countries is not ideal, but staying in the region will make it easier for these displaced people to return to Syria once it is safe.

Syrian children in a Lebanese refugee camp. Photo: AhmadSabra via iStockphoto
Syrian children in a Lebanese refugee camp. Photo: AhmadSabra via iStockphoto www.istockphoto.com

How and when the Syrian civil war will end is another issue altogether — one that does not have an obvious or easy answer. Ultimately, working on fixing the refugee crisis at its source will be the most beneficial to everyone.

[H/T: The Washington Post]