A report released by the rights group “the Syria Campaign” accused the United Nations of delivering 99 percent of its aid to government-controlled territories. The group called on the UN to “restore its impartiality.”
The report, based on interviews with aid workers, including current and former UN staff, found that the UN in Syria is in breach of its humanitarian principles and is at risk of fueling the conflict.
Entitled “Taking Sides: The United Nations’ Loss of Impartiality, Independence and Neutrality in Syria,” the report documents how, from the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the UN provided the Assad regime “with an effective veto over aid deliveries to areas outside of government control, enabling its use of siege as a weapon of war.”
The organization’s fear of having visas revoked or its members being asked to leave Damascus has led to far-reaching and unnecessary capitulations to the Assad regime by the UN, the report said, describing “a culture of compliance” among agencies in Damascus.
The UN’s failure to set red lines for its operation has weakened its negotiating power with the Assad regime and allowed humanitarian aid to become a card played in the conflict in Syria, the Syria Campaign said.
The report stated that “the UN has allowed the Syrian government to direct aid from Damascus almost exclusively into its territories.”
“In April 2016, 88 percent of food aid delivered from inside Syria went into government-controlled territory. Twelve percent went into territories outside the government’s control,” the report said.
The report added: “In August 2015, the government directed over 99 percent of UN aid from inside the country to its territories”.
Assaad al-Achi, director of Baytna Syria (Syria is our home), accused the UN of losing its credibility in the conflict in Syria and called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to “restore the UN’s credibility by setting conditions on its relationship with the Syrian government.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Aljazeera)