The United Nations launched its largest humanitarian aid request ever today, asking for $12.9 billion on behalf of 500 organizations - $6.5 billion of which would address problems from the Syrian conflict. The UN is trying to persuade China, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to contribute more (especially as the United States and Europe have been struggling with domestic economic crises), but its fundraising goals are rarely met.
One of the factors being considered in the Syria debate—and rightly so—is how much an intervention would actually cost. But what isn’t being discussed as much is the fact that U.S. taxpayers have already given more than $1 billion in humanitarian aid during the conflict.
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