February 03, 2016

Corker, Cardin Introduce Resolution Urging Robust International Assistance for Syrian Humanitarian Relief

Ahead of International Donor Conference, Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ask Nations to Fulfill U.N. Funding Commitments for Syria Crisis

WASHINGTON – Ahead of Thursday’s international donor conference on the crisis in Syria, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a Senate resolution urging the nations of the world to join the United States, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Germany and Norway in fulfilling their United Nations pledges for financial assistance to support humanitarian relief resulting from the conflict in Syria. 

“The Syrian conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of people, engulfed the region in conflict and contributed to a humanitarian catastrophe on a massive scale,” said Senator Corker. “A resolution to the civil war is ultimately the only way to alleviate the enormous suffering, which I’ve witnessed firsthand. The collective support of the international community at the donor conference in the U.K. on Thursday is essential for addressing the enormous needs associated with refugee flows that threaten the security and stability of the Middle East, Europe and the world.” 

“The conflicts in Syria and elsewhere are fundamentally re-shaping the international humanitarian system. Unfortunately, efforts to meet this challenge have not been enough,” said Senator Cardin. “Now is the time for nations to deliver with the resources and determination necessary to address the short and long term needs of the Syrian people. The United States, which has been the largest single humanitarian donor to date, will continue to lead the effort.  We all must respond with determination, resolve, and unity.”

The resolution states the following:

“Resolved, That the Senate -  

1)   commends the Governments of the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Germany, and Norway for their efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria, including the substantial financial commitments made by the Governments of the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Germany, and Norway;

2)   encourages the international community to act with urgency—

(A) to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Syria and in Syrian refugee-hosting countries in the region; and

(B) to support the upcoming Syria conference in London by joining the United States and other countries with substantial pledges of assistance; and

3)   urges donors to fulfill their UN pledging commitments to Syria to address the short and long-term humanitarian needs of the Syrian people.” 

Full text of the resolution as introduced in the Senate today is included below and is available online here.

114TH CONGRESS

2D SESSION S. RES.

Urging robust funding for humanitarian relief for Syria.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Mr. CORKER (for himself and Mr. CARDIN) submitted the following resolution;

which was referred to the Committee on _______ 

RESOLUTION

Urging robust funding for humanitarian relief for Syria.

Whereas the conflict in Syria, which is in its fifth year, has

taken the lives of over 250,000 Syrians and displaced

millions more;

Whereas the humanitarian needs for Syria are overwhelming

and require a sustained, tangible response from the entire

international community to ensure that the short and

long-term needs of the Syrian people are addressed;

Whereas as the short- and long-term needs of the Syrian people

increase, the availability of basic services for the almost

4,600,000 Syrians sheltering in Jordan, Lebanon,

and other neighboring countries, which are already under

severe strain, is diminishing;

Whereas addressing the humanitarian situation in Syria and

in Syrian refugee-hosting countries is an essential component

to providing stability to the region;

Whereas the Government of Kuwait, notably, hosted pledging

conferences in 2013, 2014, and 2015 to raise funds for

United Nations humanitarian appeals for Syria;

Whereas the pledges to previous United Nations humanitarian

appeals for Syria have failed to meet the humanitarian

needs of the Syrian crisis, as determined by the

United Nations;

Whereas not all pledges are fully converted into donations,

further adding to the difficulty in meeting the humanitarian

needs of Syria;

Whereas on February 4, 2016, the Governments of the

United Kingdom, Germany, Kuwait, and Norway will

host a fourth Syria conference in London to raise funds

and support for the United Nations humanitarian appeal

for Syria;

Whereas the fourth Syria conference aims to significantly increase

funding—

(1) to address the immediate and long-term needs of

individuals affected by the Syrian conflict; and

(2) to maintain pressure on parties to the conflict to

protect civilians affected by the conflict;

Whereas as of February 2016, the United States is the largest

single humanitarian donor to the Syrian crisis and

has given over $4,500,000,000 in humanitarian relief for

Syria; and

Whereas the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Germany, and Norway

are allies of the United States and have demonstrated

commitment to addressing the humanitarian

crisis in Syria: Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the Senate—

2          (1) commends the Governments of the United

3 Kingdom, Kuwait, Germany, and Norway for their

4 efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria,

5 including the substantial financial commitments

6 made by the Governments of the United Kingdom,

7 Kuwait, Germany, and Norway;

8          (2) encourages the international community to

9 act with urgency—

10                    (A) to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in

11                    Syria and in Syrian refugee-hosting countries in

12                    the region; and

13                    (B) to support the upcoming Syria conference

in London by joining the United States

15                    and other countries with substantial pledges of

16                    assistance; and

17        (3) urges each donor country to fulfil the

18 United Nations pledging commitments to Syria to

19 address the short- and long-term humanitarian

20 needs of the Syrian people. 

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The full text of Senator Cardin's statement for the record on this resolution can be found here

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