Syrians for Truth and Justice has documented the exploitation and control of UN humanitarian aid sent to residents of northeastern Syria, by the Syrian regime and its agencies.
The organization based its information in the report issued on Tuesday, on interviews it conducted this year with staff of humanitarian organizations– three of which are UN agencies.
According to the report, the Syrian regime and its associated security apparatus in the cities of Hasakeh and Qamishli are granting a portion of the UN humanitarian aid to members of its army, security, members of the ruling Baath Party, and their families. In exchange, they are depriving the displaced people in the camps and the neediest families in the cities and countryside of the aid allocated to them.
The report attributed the regime’s ability to control humanitarian aid, to the accreditation of UN agencies in the issue of distribution to local partners associated with the regime, officially or semi-officially, and to deliver such assistance to the area through Qamishli airport or land routes, all under the control of the Syrian regime.
The organization estimated, based on the data it obtained, the number of international food baskets that arrive monthly in Hasakah Governorate at tens of thousands. It feared that the regime would use humanitarian aid and medical supplies (such as COVID-19 vaccines) as a “political weapon”, in light of the lack of finding alternative solutions or outlets for the delivery of aid.
UN and international organizations supported by them mainly rely on the Syrian Red Crescent branch in Hasakeh, the al-Bir Association in Qamishli, the Armenian Society under the supervision of the Relief Subcommittee, and some local associations registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour in the Government of the Syrian regime, for the distribution process.
A distribution supervisor at the Red Crescent told Syrians for Truth and Justice that the total baskets that reached the organization for the years 2021 and 2022 amounted to about 170,000 baskets.
“A quarter of the aid was not distributed because some security authorities took control of the entirety of Hasakeh. Each security agency has a share of the aid, whether it is food or logistical,” he said.
The organization recommended that Syrians press for the re-entry of UN aid through the Yaroubiya crossing, rely on reliable local organizations that do not belong to any political party, and ensure that aid reaches its beneficiaries without any discrimination.
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.