The United Kingdom issued a warning last week cautioning against sending international aid to Syria, as there are concerns that it may fall into the wrong hands. This warning came after President Bashar al-Assad agreed to open two new crossings with Turkey to provide aid to northwestern Syria.
Experts on the Syrian conflict and aid workers have already warned that due to Assad’s record of corruption, there is a risk that aid may not reach those who need it most, leaving more than 20 million Syrians without basic assistance to survive in this new catastrophe.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez has issued a warning regarding the potential exploitation of the earthquake disaster by the Assad regime for its own benefit. In a series of tweets on his account, he cautioned that the regime had repeatedly demonstrated that it could not be trusted as a reliable channel for aid to the Syrian people. He emphasized the need to maintain independent routes to deliver the humanitarian aid that the Syrian people desperately need.
UN gets only $2 million out of 400
The Cross-Border Humanitarian Fund for Syria (SCHF) has received limited contributions since the launch of the funding appeal on February 14, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Only US$2.1 million has been contributed out of the requested US$397.6 million for earthquake-affected relief in Syria.
The OCHA report stated that as of Sunday, February 19, the total value of contributions pledged to the Social Housing Fund was around $64 million, but the actual contributions paid amounted to only $2.1 million since the fund’s launch on February 14th.
Pledges and disbursements to respond to humanitarian needs in northwest Syria came from Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
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.