Non-governmental groups said the UN has made tens of millions of dollars by contracting companies linked to individuals affiliated with the Syrian government, who were sanctioned for involvement in human rights abuses, ABC News reported on Wednesday.
The report publicized on Tuesday added that almost half of the contracts concluded in 2019 and 2020 were with suppliers involved in human rights abuses or may have profited from them, according to ABC News.
several contracts the UN procured during those two years went to companies owned or partially owned by individuals sanctioned by the US, UK or EU.
According to the report, they made around $68 million.
Opposition groups accused the Syrian government and companies affiliated to it of “withholding or siphoning off aid” from families in the opposition-held areas or “manipulating exchange rates to boost state coffers.”
On October 20th, dozens of complaints were filed by staffers against World Health Organization’s (WHO) top representative in Syria, Dr. Akjemal Magtymova, accusing her of corruption, fraud and abuse.
However, the head of the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean region, Ahmed al-Mandhari said in an email sent to all staff, “The allegations negatively impact the people of Syria, whom we strive to serve.”
The UN told The Associated Press that it knew about the report and will comment on its findings soon.
“Aid cannot be delivered in Syria cost-free,” Karam Shaar, Syria program manager at the Observatory of Political and Economic Networks, told the AP.
This article was 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.