U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, center left, inspects canned food at an aid depot on the Syrian border, in Ramtha, Jordan, May 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh, Pool)
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If the boy noticed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley watching intently just a few meters away, he didn't show it. But Haley would later tout the iris-scanners as a fraud-cutting tool boosting efficiency for the more than $6.5 billion the U.S. has spent helping those whose lives have been upended by Syria's harrowing civil war.It was a theme the outspoken ambassador returned to over and over in Jordan at the start of her first trip abroad since taking office. In her stops here and in Turkey – another Syria neighbor – Haley is witnessing firsthand the strains placed on countries absorbing the more than 5 million Syrians who have fled Daesh (ISIS), President Bashar Assad's government or both.The U.S. president's message to Syrians couldn't be more different.Trump, who was in Saudi Arabia on his first overseas trip, once called his predecessor "insane" for letting in Syrian refugees. As president, he tried to bar them from the U.S., describing them as a national security threat. A court blocked that move, but the number of Syrian refugees admitted has nonetheless dropped, from 5,422 in the four months before Trump's inauguration to 1,566 in the four months since, U.S. statistics show.And Trump has called for drastic cuts to U.S. funding for the United Nations and its affiliated agencies – such as those aiding people still in Syria and those who've fled.
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