Has UN Food Become Assad’s Weapon?

George Russell, writing at FoxNews.com, breaks a major story about how the United Nations has allowed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to utilize food aid as a weapon:

While the U.N. tries to raise billions for Syrian relief, it is under growing fire for helping the Assad dictatorship carry out a brutal “surrender or starve” strategy against its opponents, who are also beset by the scourge of ISIS… Despite a 2014 U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing cross-border relief convoys into the northern half of Syria, she declared, citing a 2016 U.N. Humanitarian Needs Overview, “U.N. agencies reached an average of 4 percent of the civilians in besieged areas (about 16,500 people) each month with health assistance, 0.6 percent (roughly 2,500 people) with food, and less than 0.1 percent (fewer than 500 people) with nonfood items such as tents, blankets and soap…” More dramatically, [International aid specialist Annie] Sparrow charges that OCHA’s 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria, which asks international donors for $3.2 billion to provide aid to some 13.5 million people, is a “watered down document” in which the Syrian government “revised the narrative, the budget and the programming,” including any reference to the removal of land mines, a constant hazard to foraging civilians. “According to the final Humanitarian Response Plan,” Sparrow declared, “there is no war in Syria, only a crisis and insecurity, which, incidentally, is not the government’s fault.” She also offered up samples from a draft version with tracking changes that removed touchy references.

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Has UN Food Become Assad’s Weapon?

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