Thursday, 11 February 2016
How the United Nations' OCHA Helped Assad and Hurt Syrians in Need
"OCHA’s defense that any aid delivered from Damascus is better than none has not been weighed against the human and financial cost of bolstering a regime that is deliberately increasing the hardship of people in opposition-held areas. Humanitarian aid in such circumstances can sustain the violence that gives rise to the need for aid in the first place. In providing billions of dollars of assistance, the disposition of which is largely dictated by the Syrian government, the UN has freed Syrian government resources to be used for Syrian politicians, troops, security forces, and allies. Someone has to take a stand. At the risk of alienating a key source of financing, the Syrians themselves have now done so. It’s time for OCHA to do its part by revisiting its underlying principles and acting accordingly—to check out of the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, to leave the Syrian capital, and to stop supporting the atrocities of the Syrian government."