The influence of Bashar al-Assad’s regime on aid organizations in Syria must be dealt with, according to a recent report stressing that Syrian regime forces control the distribution and one the pro-regime militia has a contract for rebuild a city that he destroyed.
According to The Guardian, the 70-page document “Rescuing Aid in Syria,” which was published by the Washington-based think tank for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and based on interviews with United Nations officials and aid workers in Syria, said the manipulation of the Assad regime of aid in Syria is a unique and persistent form of control that needs to be addressed urgently.
“There are not many situations in our historywhere someone who committed mass atrocities on the level that Assad government has rest in power and controls the aid apparatus,” said the author, Natasha Hall.
According to the report, the regime has such a grip on help groups accessincluding through visa approvals he had normalized for relatives of senior regime officials to have jobs in UN bodies.
As relations heat up between the Assad regime and many Arab states in the region, including Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Algeria, the report says there has been a increase in threats, arbitrary detentions and torture of Syrian humanitarian personnel in the past year.
“The menace of coercion and murder hanging over aid workers prevent independent monitoring of UN agencies and NGOs,” the report said.
“If Assad government will stay in placewhat seems like a lot of the governments are resigning themselves, we have to settle this out because the aid will probably continue to go to this hostile country environment”Hall said.
The report also underlined the fact which is close to the regime and directly responsible for human rights violations benefit.
The report found Mohamad Hamsho, a businessman close to the Fourth divisionan elite unit of the army, and Assad’s brotherMaher Assad, had won UN Supply Contracts for Stripping Metals in areas taken over by the regime and rework them for sale to their Hadeed Metal Manufacturing Company.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reportedly hires the Legion of Defenders of Aleppo, a pro-regime militia responsible for move from force residents, clear rubble and rehabilitate city they helped destroyas pointed out also by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Sara Kayyali, HRW’s Syria researcher, said: “The UN has no zero human rights due diligence when contracting people; we don’t talk about their contract for tens of thousands of dollars, on Talk about millions of dollars that go to … privately owned businesses who we know have committed human rights violations.
“When you consider that the United Nations is one of the main means that money goes to Syria … (and) plays a huge role in revitalizing the economy playing Between hands of the war (of the regime) economy.”
The report also says that “manipulation of aid had increased in the past decade of war, and a thorough audit and evaluation of aid in Syria was necessary”, stressing the fact that when aid was transported through the lines of conflict or control, in northwestern and eastern Syria, known as cross-border shipments, there have been flights and equipment was randomly distributed.
As a result, only two transverse convoys carrying 43,500 servings of food each made in opposition-controlled northwestern Syria between August and December last year compared with 1.3 million rations delivered from Turkey in November alone. Stationery took four months to arrive people in need as they sat in warehouses because the regime did not want allow opposition-linked nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to distribute them, Hall said.
Many of nearly 3 millions displaced people in Syria people face harsh winter conditions with a severe snowstorm is pounding the country’s northwest region as requested by the United Nations international community To do more To protect them.
The Idlib region where 2.8 millions of displaced liveest the last Syrian enclave to oppose the regime in Damascus. Humanitarian aid reaches them mainly through the Turkish-Syrian border under special UN clearance without interference from Damascus, which expires in July.
Idlib is part of a de-escalation zone forged under a deal between Turkey and Russia in March 2020. However, the Syrian regime has consistently violated terms of the cessation-firelaunching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.