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U.S. offers aid to Syrians for Eid

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. government is providing $195 million in food assistance to Syrians who suffered the consequences of war during Ramadan, President Obama said.

Obama issued a message to Muslims as they celebrated Eid al-Fitr, an occasion that began Wednesday evening to mark the end to the holy month of Ramadan.

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Violence continued unabated in Syria during the holy month, marked by an obligatory dawn-to-dusk fasting period.

"To help the many Syrians in need this Eid al-Fitr, the United States is providing an additional $195 million in food aid and other humanitarian aid, bringing our humanitarian contribution to the Syrian people to over $1 billion since the crisis began," the president said.

The U.N. World Food Program said Tuesday it needs to raise $30 million per week to help feed the people affected by the conflict in Syria. The aid agency said it has delivered emergency food assistance to more than 4,000 Syrians displaced by conflict in Iraq since March.

The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 Syrians have died as a result of the fighting, which began in early 2011. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said about 20 percent of the Syrian population, or nearly 5 million people, have been displaced since conflict began.

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