U.S. allocates $12.8 mln of humanitarian aid for Syria
The United States has allocated $12.8 million of humanitarian aid to Syria bringing the total sum of the assistance provided to over $52 million, said Mark Toner, a deputy spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, RIA Novosti reported.
Toner told a daily press briefing that Deputy Assistant Secretary Kelly Clements, who is of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, recently represented the United States at the meeting of the Syria Humanitarian Forum in Geneva.
"And while there, she [Clements] did announce another $12.8 million in assistance for those suffering from the violence in Syria, bringing the total U.S. Government humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis to just over $52 million," Toner said.
The official also confirmed reports that U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford was declared there persona non grata, but called this decision an "empty gesture" of the Syrian regime.
"We have been officially notified, via the Polish Embassy from the Government of Syria, that he has been officially PNGed by the regime...," Toner said. "He's going to continue to remain - or maintain contact with the Syrian opposition. He's going to continue our efforts to support a peaceful political transition for which the Syrian people have so bravely fought."
According to UN estimates, about 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, which started with peaceful protests but has since grown increasingly militarized.