- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that American taxpayers will be sending along another $380 million to help Syrian civilians in crisis from the years of civil war that have plagued the country.

One problem with the promise: It’s not clear that the money will reach its intended recipients.

The New York Times reported Mr. Kerry made the cash pledge shortly after the United Nations’ Ban Ki-moon announced $6.5 billion was needed for all the refugees – the largest appeal in U.N. history.

The secretary general said the crisis has only worsened in recent months, and thousands of refugees, including women and children, are in dire need of medical assistance and basic necessities – food, water, shelter.

Mr. Kerry announced America’s contribution to the aid package with one caveat: The assistance wouldn’t do any good so long as Syria President Bashar Assad continued “using starvation as a weapon of war,” and allowed his military to intercept aid from the international community, The New York Times reported.

Various heads of state, including those from the United States and Russia, are scheduled to discuss just that matter at a Jan. 22 peace conference about Syria in Switzerland.

“If the regime can allow access to United Nations and international weapon inspectors, surely it can do the same for neutral international humanitarian assistance,” Mr. Kerry said, The New York Times reported.


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