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Syria Crisis: US Frees $40 Million In Aid For Victims Of Violence

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In this picture taken with a mobile phone, anti-Syrian regime mourners shout slogans against their president Bashar Assad as they carry the body of Malek Shouraba, who was killed by Syrian security forces along with four protesters on Friday, while they were attending the funeral of activist, Odai Junblat, during his funeral procession, in Kfar Suseh area in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday May 5, 2012. (AP Photo) | AP

AMMAN, Jordan — A U.S. State Department official responsible for refugees says Washington has allocated $40 million to assist relief organizations aiding victims of the Syrian crisis.

Anne Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, says the money will be funneled through international and local agencies inside Syria and in surrounding countries, including Jordan.

She says Palestinians and Iraqis in Syria will also benefit.

Richard told reporters on Thursday in Amman that she discussed contingency plans with Jordanian officials. She declined to provide details.

She also said that Washington was easing a backlog on Iraqi refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. She says 70,000 Iraqis were admitted in the past five years.