A report issued by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies has issued recommendations for the US administration to stop the “diversion” and “theft” of aid by the Assad regime.
“The United States has spent over $14.1 billion on humanitarian assistance for Syria, more than any other donor,” said the analysis published by the Washington-based Foundation. Yet, unlike Russia, the US does not play a decisive role in deciding the final destination of the aid.
It said the five core components of a strategy to prevent diversion of aid include: First, “Public Diplomacy — The president, secretary of state, and other key officials should publicly identify the problem and declare that preventing diversion is a US priority in Syria.”
Second, Coordination with Allies — “Together, the United States and its allies should leverage their role as donors to demand specific reforms.”
Third, “Reviving Oversight Mechanisms within the UN.” Fourth, “Reforming Aid Operations in Syria — UN agencies must renegotiate the terms of their relationships with the Syrian government.”
Fifth, “Congressional Action — With its power of the purse, Congress can determine the conditions under which aid flows to the UN and other providers.” The report said that “the UN must renegotiate the rules of humanitarian operations with the Assad regime.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) has emphasized the importance of finding a new system to ensure aid reaches the Syrian people, who are struggling with difficult conditions due to the actions of the Assad regime and its militias. They also called for efforts to prevent aid from reaching militias that support the regime.
However, the SOC stressed that providing aid alone is not sufficient to end the ongoing tragedy in Syria, and that achieving a political transition in line with UN Resolution 2254 is necessary to fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people and build a new Syria without the Assad regime, which is the root cause of the crisis.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)