The United States will provide an additional $380 million in humanitarian assistance to help victims of Syria’s civil war, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday.
The funding will be distributed across a handful of countries to help deal with the humanitarian fallout. Almost half of the funds, more than $177 million, will go toward humanitarian efforts within Syria, with the State Department estimating that 9.3 million people need humanitarian assistance.
In addition, more than $76 million will go to Lebanon, more than $61 million will go to Jordan, more than $31 million will go to Turkey, more than $20 million will go to Iraq, more than $12 million will go to Egypt, and about $2.5 million will go to U.N. programs throughout the region.
The latest round of funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Syrian conflict to more than $1.7 billion.
“As we work hard to bring the two sides to the table next week in pursuit of a political solution, unfortunately, rampant violence and starvation, as a tactic of the conflict, and disease continue to tear at Syria,” Kerry said in Kuwait Wednesday. “The humanitarian situation in Syria is an outrage that should offend every reasonable conscience.”
The secretary of State also pressed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to open up access to humanitarian aid, adding that the Syrian president is denying aid “as a matter of a weapon of war.”
Peace talks aimed at ending Syria’s civil war is scheduled to kick off on Jan. 22. The the Syrian National Coalition, a West-backed group, is expected to vote this week on whether or not to attend.