Alhurra Television took a candid and in-depth look at the dire and complex humanitarian emergencies faced by Syrian refugees with the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard. During the interview, Assistant Secretary Richard discussed the plight of Syrian refugees, particularly women and children, and the role of the United States in providing humanitarian aid to all Syrian refugees and displaced people.
Assistant Secretary Richard told the audience that the United States is working to deliver aid to the 3.8 million Syrian refugees living in camps in neighboring countries including Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt and also to displaced people inside Syria. She acknowledged that “it has been very difficult for Americans to have presence inside Syria” to provide aid, but the United States has worked “primarily through international organizations and non-governmental organizations” to get aid in. She emphasized that the United States is the leading donor to the UN High Commission of Refugees and the World Food Program. “We have provided over $3 billion since the start of the [Syrian crisis] putting us in the lead in terms of providing funding,” she stressed.
As the Syrian crisis intensifies with no resolution in sight, Assistant Secretary Richard expressed concerns related to increasing child labor as a result of Syrian children being unable to go to school. She warned of the risk of “losing the entire generation of children who should be the future of a new Syria.” She also expressed concern for Syrian women refugees who are sexually abused and exploited, saying that women refugees “can be in a very vulnerable position trying to care for their families, without enough money” to survive making them vulnerable to exploitation.
As for the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States, Assistant Secretary Richard said, “We do not discriminate based on the religion or the ethnic background of the refugees. We take the most vulnerable people who have special medical conditions, female-headed households and disabled people.”