U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford discusses his visit to Islahiye Refugee Camp and provides an update on the humanitarian situation in and around Syria during his travel to Ankara, Turkey, January 25, 2013. Read more about his trip here.
About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote’s Managing Editor.
Our “Photo of the Week” comes to us from Laurens Vermeire, a public affairs colleague accompanying a State Department and USAID delegation to Turkey and Jordan. The delegation includes U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford; Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard; and USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, Nancy Lindborg.
The photograph shows the delegation’s visit to the Islahiye Refugee Camp for Syrians near the Syrian-Turkish border in Turkey on January 24, 2013. During the visit, the delegation members spent several hours talking with camp residents… more »
About the Author: Robert S. Ford serves as U.S. Ambassador to Syria.
I am pleased to announce that I’ll be visiting the region this week with colleagues from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. We’ll visit Turkey and Jordan to see the conditions of Syrian refugees.
At the same time, we’ll sit with governments, international organizations and NGOs working to help the Syrian refugees.
I also hope to have the opportunity to meet with many Syrians and hear directly from them about their circumstances.
Last week, when I was in Jordan, I was watching television and I saw a report on Al Arabiya about a Syrian father and his daughter, a young child, who died from the bitter cold — a very tragic story that affected me deeply. I shared this story when I returned to Washington, and I think… more »
Office of the Spokesperson
January 9, 2013
The United States supports the Syrian people’s aspirations for a Syrian-led transition to a democratic, inclusive, and peaceful Syria. Over nearly two years of unrest and violence, the United Nations estimates that 60,000 Syrians have been killed. Nearly 600,000 Syrians have registered or are awaiting registration in neighboring countries, while an additional 2.5 million persons are internally displaced and 4 million people inside Syria are in need of assistance. The Syrian regime has sacrificed all legitimacy in a vicious effort to cling to power. U.S. assistance includes vigorous diplomatic support of the newly formed Syrian Opposition Coalition, humanitarian assistance to help those affected by the conflict, and non-lethal support for local councils and civil society inside Syria. MORE
Victoria Nuland, Department Spokesperson
January 6, 2013
Bashar al-Asad’s speech today is yet another attempt by the regime to cling to power and does nothing to advance the Syrian people’s goal of a political transition. His initiative is detached from reality, undermines the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, and would only allow the regime to further perpetuate its bloody oppression of the Syrian people.
For nearly two years, the Asad regime has brutalized its own people. Even today, as Asad speaks of dialogue, the regime is deliberately stoking sectarian tensions and continuing to kill its own people by attacking Sunni towns and villages in the mixed areas of Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkmen in Lattakia province.
Asad has lost all legitimacy and must step aside to enable a political solution and a democratic transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people. The United States continues to support the Geneva Action Group’s framework for a political solution, which was endorsed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the Arab League, and the UN General Assembly. We will continue our efforts in support of Joint Special Representative Brahimi to build international unity behind it and to urge all parties in Syria to take meaningful steps toward its implementation.
2012 was a challenging year for humanitarians trying to help displaced people around the world. The following summarizes some of the challenges addressed by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) last year.
Inside Syria, 40,000 people have been killed and over two million are displaced. Over half a million people have fled to neighboring countries. The U.S. government (the State Department and USAID) is providing $210 million in humanitarian aid to the region, and this aid is reaching millions.
Last year, refugees fled violence and drought in Northern Mali and… more »
The recent visits of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and actress/director and Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Angelina Jolie to the Za’atri camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan drew attention to the plight of the refugees, and will hopefully increase support by individual and government donors to aid programs. But focusing on refugee camps shows only one aspect of life in exile. Of the half million Syrian refugees, some two-thirds live in cities and villages and not in refugee camps.
I traveled in late November to Jordan and Lebanon and met five families who had fled the violence in Syria and were trying to survive as refugees outside of camps.
In Amman, we were welcomed by two Syrian brothers who had married two sisters. One couple had five children. The other couple was expecting their first child. I asked how… more »
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns delivers remarks on the Syrian Opposition Council during a press conference in Marrakech, Morocco on December 12, 2012. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/s/d/2012/201945.htm.
Office of the Spokesperson
December 12, 2012
Today, Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns announced the United States is providing nearly $14 million in additional humanitarian aid that will provide nutrition support for children, as well as additional emergency medical and winterization supplies to families in need inside Syria. With this new assistance, the United States is providing $210 million in humanitarian assistance to help over 1.5 million people inside Syria and the hundreds of thousands who have fled to neighboring countries.
This new assistance will provide a monthly ration of highly-fortified, ready-to-use food supplements to help approximately 225,000 children in Syria. These supplements are specially formulated for young children between 6 and 24 months of age and provide all the vitamins and minerals required for their development. To further increase medical capacity in Syria, this additional aid also includes essential medicines and supplies for 150,000 people and specialized drugs and supplies for 3,000 surgical interventions. We are also supporting the Early Warning Alert and Response System, a medical surveillance system that allows early detection and timely response to epidemics of communicable diseases. The United States is already working to reach 375,000 people in Syria with critical, life-saving winterization supplies, and this new funding will provide heavy-duty plastic insulation, duct tape, blankets, mattresses, rubber boots, and woolen socks to help an additional 45,000 people with winterization needs.
The United States, along with the international community, is working tirelessly to ensure that the innocent children, women, and men affected by the conflict in Syria are provided with life-saving assistance, and we will continue to stand by them in their time of need. The United States acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq to keep borders open and generously hosting and providing assistance to those fleeing Asad’s brutality.
For more detailed information on the U.S. government’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, please visit:http://www.usaid.gov/crisis/syria.
Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), travels to Turkey to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and assistance for those affected by the crisis, November 2012. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/usaid/201164.htm.