The United States' humanitarian aid in response to the 3-year-old Syrian crisis will hit $2 billion after Secretary of State John Kerry pledged an additional $290 million to help Syrians while in Beirut Wednesday, The Daily Star reported.
"Secretary John Kerry announced from Beirut yesterday additional $290 million US humanitarian assistance to help those affected by Syria war," the US embassy in Lebanon tweeted Thursday.
"Total US humanitarian assistance since beginning of Syrian crisis will reach more than $2 billion," another tweet read.
The assistance is helping over 4.7 million people inside Syria and more than 2.8 million refugees and host communities in neighboring countries.
The embassy said the new U.S. assistance included "nearly $169 million inside Syria and more than $121 million for neighboring countries including Lebanon."
It indicated that US assistance for Lebanon's NGOs and the U.N. World Food Program had reached more than $51 million, "the highest amount in terms of assistance provided to neighboring countries."
It explained that assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and other host countries includes food aid, protection, shelter, water and sanitation, education programs and other programs to prevent gender-based violence.
The embassy also said that the U.S. was committed to delivering humanitarian assistance to Syrians through the U.N.'s broad network, no matter where they reside or have sought refuge.
"US works closely with the international humanitarian community and donors to determine most effective ways to scale up humanitarian assistance in Syria," the embassy said.
It also urged donor countries and all nations to support urgent needs inside Syria and in neighboring countries "as more than 2/3 of UN's appeal remains unfunded."
Lebanon alone is hosting over a million Syrian refugees registered with the UNHCR.
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