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U.S. vows more humanitarian aid in Syria

Nov. 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The United States will send $30 million more in humanitarian aid to victims in the Syrian conflict, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.

That brings the total of U.S. humanitarian assistance to $200 million to help those suffering because of the Assad regime's violence inside Syria and neighboring countries, the U.S. government said in a statement.

The statement said the new funds will allow for the immediate purchase of food in local and regional markets for those in need. Food baskets would contain necessities such as rice, beans and cooking oil.

In neighboring countries, the statement said, aid would provide food supplies, hot food and food vouchers for families who have fled the violence in Syria.

The additional aid would be dispensed through the World Food Program, which is already providing food aid to 1.5 million people in Syria and refugees in neighboring countries. The government's statement said the United States is the largest donor of food aid for those affected by the conflict in Syria through the WFP.

The United States "is providing food aid, medical supplies, emergency and basic healthcare, shelter materials, clean water, hygiene education and supplies and other relief supplies -- including blankets and heaters -- to help more than 1 million people inside Syria and the nearly 400,000 refugees in neighboring countries," the statement said.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said it had documented 88 deaths across Syria Saturday, including five children and two women. Forty-five of the deaths were in Damascus and surrounding area. The London group's figures weren't independently verified.

Thousands reportedly have been killed during the past year in the civil war.

More information on the U.S. government's response to the humanitarian crisis is online at http://www.usaid.gov/crisis/syria.###.

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