U.S. taxpayers have spent at least $1,010,354,195 on Syrian humanitarian aid for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, according to official numbers from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
USAID, which was created by President John F. Kennedy, is the federal government’s primary agency in charge of distributing civilian foreign aid.
Last month, President Barack Obama pledged $195 million in additional humanitarian support to Syrians affected by the country’s civil war, tipping U.S. taxpayer spending over the $1 billion threshold.
“To help the many Syrians in need this Eid al-Fitr, the United States isproviding an additional $195 million in food aid and other humanitarianaid, bringing our humanitarian contribution to the Syrian people to over$1 billion since the crisis began,” Obama said in a White House statement. “For millions of Americans, Eid is part of a great tapestry of America’smany traditions, and I wish all Muslims a blessed and joyfulcelebration. Eid Mubarak.”
The United States is the largest contributor of Syrian humanitarian aid. However, Syrians embroiled in the current conflict say U.S. taxpayer-funded aid is insufficient and not reaching those most in need in the opposition-held north.
“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 New York Times reported.
Humanitarian workers in Syria like Ghassan Hitto, the chief coordinator for the Western-backed Syrian national coalition, say they are frustrated with the poorly-run relief efforts.
“We believe we are owed an explanation over where this money is going, but every time we ask, we can’t get an answer.”