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More Than Half Of Syrian Population Needs Assistance; U.S. Announces Additional Aid

“More than half the population of Syria is likely to be in need of aid by the end of the year, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees has warned, while labeling the ever-worsening crisis as the most serious the global body has dealt with,” The Guardian reports. Antonio Guterres’s “assessment came as the U.N. released new data on the numbers of refugees, which revealed that 6.8 million Syrians need aid,” the newspaper adds, noting, “That figure is likely to reach at least 10 million, more than half the pre-war population of the country.” The U.N. estimates approximately 1.3 million Syrians have left the country and at least three million are internally displaced, The Guardian notes, adding that UNICEF estimates half of those in need of aid are children. “Communities in Syria’s war-ravaged north, west and south are largely without electricity and low on food and running water,” according to the newspaper (Chulov, 4/19).

“Secretary of State John Kerry announced Sunday morning that the United States would double its aid to the Syrian opposition, providing $123 million in fresh assistance,” the New York Times reports, noting, “American officials did not specify the items to be sent” (Gordon/Arsu, 4/20). The Hill’s “Global Affairs” blog notes, “The new support will go beyond military food rations and medical kits to include other types of non-lethal supplies, the [State Department] said.” In addition, “Kerry also announced nearly $25 million in additional food assistance,” the blog writes (Balluck, 4/20).