The Syrian Red Crescent has ceased the monthly provision of food parcels to numerous families in Damascus and rural governorates, withholding an explanation for their exclusion.
Sawt al-Asima reports that the decision to cut aid to families in Damascus and its outskirts was based on an assessment conducted by the Ahl al-Sham initiative, which comprises over 40 local associations funded by traders and industrialists in the capital, Damascus. The evaluation, approved by the Ministry of Social Affairs, commenced in 2022 and concluded in April 2023. New lists were then issued at the end of May.
Sources indicate that the exclusion of hundreds of families resulted from their failure to meet criteria established by supervising committees. Key factors include the absence of more than one source of income for a family, the lack of employment in the private sector, or more than two family members working in the government sector. Additionally, families owning a house were disqualified.
Local committees, during their field assessments, excluded families if valuable furniture or new clothes were observed, deeming their situation satisfactory. This rigorous evaluation process has been in effect since last year.
Contrary to claims by the pro-regime Athr Press website that the reduction in aid—decreased by 40% post the Ukraine war—was due to external factors, sources from Sawt al-Asima assert that the denial of access to food baskets is a consequence of reduced aid resulting from economic challenges. Traders and initiators are struggling to maintain quantities due to economic conditions, impacting the ability to replace materials with local alternatives. This has negatively affected the quality and quantity of aid baskets, despite no direct correlation with import isssues from outside Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.