As Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced today at the Manama Dialogue, the United States will provide nearly $100 million in new assistance to the Syrian opposition, bringing the total support we have committed and are providing to the Syrian opposition since 2012 to nearly $500 million.
As part of our steadfast commitment to empower the Syrian opposition, this assistance will support local and provincial councils, civil society activists, emergency first responders, and others to meet the needs of the Syrian people.
U.S. assistance is helping keep schools open for Syrian children; restoring access to electricity and water infrastructure; supporting independent media and civil society to hold their local governments accountable, and building the capacity of the moderate opposition to play a role in a future Syria that respects human rights and the rule of law.
Part of this new assistance includes an additional $15 million contribution to the Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF), which channels donor contributions in a transparent and accountable manner to priority projects inside Syria. With support from 14 donor countries over the last two years, the SRTF is delivering over 20 projects that reach 2 million Syrians in the sectors of health, food security, water, electricity, agriculture, and waste management in areas of moderate opposition control inside Syria.
While our SRTF contribution today will help many, Syrians face significant challenges working to support their communities, and we continue to urge our international partners to contribute and help the SRTF fulfill its important mission.