World Bulletin / News Desk
"I can also announce that, in addition to the 5.1 billion in humanitarian assistance that we have already provided since the start of the Syrian civil war, we will be contributing another 439 million in new aid to support education, healthcare, and life-saving food and medicine for internally displaced people and refugees immediately," Kerry said.
"Tonight, I can announce proudly that we will meet President [Barack] Obama’s goal of welcoming 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States in the current fiscal year,” he said at a reception to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.
Kerry said that the U.S. was the "largest" contributor of emergency aid, but acknowledged more is needed.
"More needs to be done to help those who are besieged inside Syria; more has to be done to assist refugees; more has to be done to support Syria’s neighbors, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey; and more to resolve this brutal conflict that has cost far too many lives and forced far too many people from their homes," he said.
Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime of President Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million have been displaced, according to UN figures.
The conflict in Syria has now driven more than 4 million people -- one-sixth of the country’s population -- to seek sanctuary in neighboring countries, making it the largest refugee crisis in a quarter of a century, according to the UN.