Syrian Refugees: Trying to Make It in Lebanon and Jordan

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees being taken by Jordanian military bus to Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq city, after they crossed the border from Tal Shehab city in Syria, through the Al Yarmouk River valley, into Thnebeh town, in Ramtha, Jordan, Sept. 5, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Anne C. Richard serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

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 »

Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard to Travel to Jordan and Lebanon

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 23, 2012


Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard will travel to Jordan and Lebanon from November 25-30, 2012.

In Jordan, Assistant Secretary Richard will attend the Advisory Commission Meetings of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA). At the meetings, she will hold bilateral discussions with refugee-hosting governments and other members of the Advisory Commission. She will also meet with Government of Jordan, international, and non-governmental officials to discuss policy and program issues regarding displaced Syrians in Jordan, and Iraqi and Palestinian refugees.

In Lebanon, Assistant Secretary Richard will meet with Government of Lebanon, international, and non-governmental officials to discuss the humanitarian situation in Lebanon and the situation of Syrian, Iraqi, and Palestinian refugees.

For information about this visit, please contact PRM’s Public Affairs Advisor Deborah Sisbarro PRM-Press-DL@state.gov or (202) 453-9339.

Acts of Terrorism in Beirut

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DC
October 19, 2012

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the acts of terrorism that took place in Beirut’s Achrafieh neighborhood today. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who were killed.

The assassination of the Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, who was a strong defender of Lebanon’s security and its people, is a dangerous sign that there are those who continue to seek to undermine Lebanon’s stability. Lebanon must close the chapter of its past and bring an end to impunity for political assassinations and other politically motivated violence. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and respect for Lebanon’s stability and security.

The United States remains committed to an independent, sovereign, and stable Lebanon. We will continue to work with our partners to preserve Lebanon’s security and stability.

You can also read the complete statement here.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati at the United Nations in New York, New York on September 25, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati at the United Nations in New York, New York on September 25, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

State Department Welcomes 2012 TechWomen to San Francisco

Sanae Baatti, a Moroccan mentee, and Taghrid Samak, an American mentor, participate in TechWomen 2012, an international exchange that leverages technology as a means to empower women and girls, in San Francisco, California, September 5, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Lee Satterfield serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Yesterday, the 2012 class of TechWomen arrived in San Francisco to participate in an international exchange that leverages technology as a means to empower women and girls from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia and Yemen. Forty-one female emerging leaders in the technology field from the Middle East and North Africa will be paired with American counterparts for a five-week mentoring program. Click here to learn more.

Launched by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2011, TechWomen builds on her vision of “smart power.” It embraces the full range of diplomatic tools, in this case technology, to bring people together for greater understanding and to empower women and… more »

Additional Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Violence in Syria

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 5, 2012


The United States remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis caused by violence in Syria. Over 100,000 refugees have flooded into neighboring countries in the month of August, stretching host country capacity. We commend the generosity of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq in assisting approximately 240,000 Syrians who have fled.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has stated that as many as 2.5 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, more than double the number that was assessed in March 2012, and over 1.2 million people have been internally displaced.

To help meet the growing humanitarian need, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah announced today in Jordan that the United States is providing an additional $21 million to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP). Of this new funding, $14.3 million will provide food assistance to conflict-affected people inside Syria and $6.7 million to support Syrians displaced to neighboring countries.

With this new assistance, the United States is providing a total of more than $100 million for humanitarian activities both inside Syria and in neighboring countries: MORE

Investing in Security: Program Develops New Generation of Humanitarian Demining Leaders

Major General Walter D. Givhan recognizes participants at the 2012 Senior Managers Course in Explosive Remnants of War and Mine Action at the James Madison University, June 2012. This year, the 17 participants represented 13 different countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Vietnam. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Major General Walter D. “Waldo” Givhan, United States Air Force, currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Plans, Programs and Operations in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

I recently had the privilege of visiting James Madison University to attend the closing ceremony for the 2012 Senior Managers’ Course in Explosive Remnants of War and Mine Action, where I met a select group of individuals serving on the front lines of humanitarian crises and post-conflict environments around the world.

This year, the 17 participants represented 13 different countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Vietnam. These “Senior Managers” are each leaders in their respective national mine action and ERW programs. This diversity the students bring in terms of background and experience is one of the main reasons… more »

Secretary Clinton’s Call with Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 15, 2012


Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke by telephone with former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The two discussed recent security incidents in Lebanon, the crisis in Syria, and steps the United States, the Government of Lebanon, and former Prime Minister Hariri might take to improve the situation. The Secretary expressed concern over heightened tensions in Lebanon and noted the importance of all Lebanese political parties supporting efforts to promote calm and stability. Secretary Clinton stressed the United States’ commitment to a stable, independent, and sovereign Lebanon.

Secretary Clinton’s Call with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 14, 2012


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati on June 14 by phone. They discussed regional developments, including the violence in Syria and its effects on Lebanon. The Secretary voiced concern over recent incidents in Lebanon and expressed appreciation for the Prime Minister’s and other Lebanese leaders’ efforts to maintain calm. Secretary Clinton emphasized the United States’ commitment to a stable, independent, and sovereign Lebanon.

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

In this picture taken during a UN observer-organized tour, a Syrian man rides his bicycle as he passes destroyed buildings in the Baba Amr neighborhood during the UN observers' visit to Homs city, central Syria, on May 3, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Robert S. Ford serves as U.S. Ambassador to 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… more »