The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has released a report that reveals the Assad regime repeated manipulation of humanitarian aid in Syria, withholding it from its opponents, and granting it to others.
Assad enjoys strong authority over the arrival of humanitarian aid organizations, including visa approvals, Thus, it has become natural for relatives of senior regime officials to obtain jobs within UN bodies, the center said in a report, according to the al-Hurra website.
The report was based on interviews with UN officials and humanitarian workers in Syria: “While Western donor governments contribute about $2.5 billion a year in humanitarian assistance, needs continue to rise. In addition, the regime’s government has manipulated aid for more than a decade, withholding it from opponents, and directing it to allies.”
Threats, arbitrary arrests, and torture aid workers in Syria by the regime have increased over the past year, according to the report. Staff members of a local humanitarian organization have been arrested and killed, and relatives have been ordered to evacuate their homes or be arrested.
According to the report, when aid was transported across conflict lines in northwestern and eastern Syria, known as cross-border shipments, there were thefts, and medical equipment was distributed randomly. Only 43,500 food rations reached opposition areas in northwestern Syria in cross-border convoys, compared to 1.3 million delivered from Turkey in November.
“Despite UN food being transferred to the Syrian regime’s army, people directly responsible for human rights violations are benefiting,” the report added.
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.