US pledges a further $419 million to help Syrian refugees

The United States further cemented their commitment to help Syrian refugees Monday, as the White House pledged another $419 million to help the displaced Middle Easterners.

Most of the funds will go to help pay for the food, water, shelter, and medical care of the refugees.

“We have long said that the most important contribution to address the urgent humanitarian needs of these refugees is in the form of trying to meet their basic needs. This is the urgent relief that Syrian refugees need,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

According to Earnest, the U.S. is the largest donor helping the Syrian refugees since the start of the civil war four and a half years ago. This donation brings the total U.S. contribution to $4.5 billion.

Since the start of the war many Syrians have fled their country in the face of civil war and repeated attacks from the extremist group ISIS. Secretary of State John Kerry has also announced that the U.S. will raise the annual refugee cap from 70,000 to 85,000 to help deal with the mass amount of Syrians.

In 2017, the U.S. will again see the total rise to 100,000.

The increase in the refugee cap comes from the criticism European and Middle Eastern countries have levied toward the U.S. as they struggle to handle the 4 million refugees flooding their countries.

It also appears that at least a few 2016 presidential candidates agree with sheltering more refugees. Hillary Clinton has expressed that she would take in at least 65,000 and so has former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.


[The Hill]