WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama has approved another $12 million in emergency relief aid to Syrians, the White House said on Thursday, calling on other countries to boost their donations as a result of worsening conditions there.
"After nearly 17 months of conflict, the humanitarian situation is dire and rapidly deteriorating," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
The statement did not mention the announcement that UN special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan has decided to step down from his post after his peace plan meant to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad from attacking civilians was widely seen to have failed.
The United Nations estimates that more than 1.5 million people in Syria now need food, water and other assistance. Some 1 million have been driven from their homes and more than 130,000 people have fled to neighboring countries like Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq