- The Washington Times - Monday, September 9, 2013

While debate swirls among national and international political leaders about the best course of action to take in Syria, the fact is American taxpayers are already on the hook for more than $1 billion in aid for the conflict. Moreover, most of that aid doesn’t even reach the intended recipients — the civilians hit hardest by the two-plus years of conflict.

The United States has sent in aid $1.01 billion to Syria in the 12-month fiscal year period, 2012 to 2013, the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, reported.

The U.S. contribution to the country tipped over the $1 billion mark last month, when President Obama vowed another $195 million for humanitarian efforts, Breitbart.com reported.

He said then: “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 Syria people to over $1 billon since the crisis began.”

Americans give the largest chunk of aid money to Syria. But even The New York Times reported that most of it doesn’t reach its intended recipients.

“The vast majority of aid is going to territory controlled by President Bashar al-Assad, and the small amount reaching opposition-held areas is all but invisible,” The Times reported.

SEE ALSO: Syrian President Bashar Assad: There’s no evidence I used chemical weapons

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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