U.S. surpasses Syrian refugee target, announces $364M in more aid

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WASHINGTON (UPI) — The United States surpassed its target of resettling Syrian war refugees, the State Department said as it announced an additional $364 million in humanitarian aid to Syria.

With the government’s fiscal year ending Friday, 85,000 refugees have arrived in the United States this year, up from 70,000 in the previous year. Some 12,500 are from Syria, surpassing President Barack Obama‘s target of 10,000. The White House has a goal of another 110,000 admissions in the next 12 months.

Anne Richard, the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees assistant secretary, announced the statistics in a statement Tuesday as she noted the increase in U.S. humanitarian aid to Syria. She said the new funding brings the total U.S. assistance to the conflict in Syria to $5.9 billion.

“It will support desperately needed food, shelter, safe drinking water, medical care, and other urgent help to millions of Syrians and refugee-hosting communities,” she said.

About three-quarters of that aid will be directed to relief within Syria, with the rest going to agencies elsewhere in the Middle East, Richard added.

Obama hosted a meeting last week in New York, in conjunction with the annual United Nations General Assembly summit, in which leaders of 49 countries pledged additional humanitarian aid and other services for Syrian civilians enduring a five-year civil war.