Aid From WHO, U.N. Agencies Potentially Enabling Assad’s Regime In Syria

Foreign Policy: Hypocritic Oath
Annie Sparrow, medical doctor and assistant professor at the Arnhold Global Health Institute at the Icahn School of ­Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York

“…International humanitarian law requires free movement of civilians and humanitarian access to them — both of which have been routinely denied by [Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s] forces [in Eastern Ghouta]. … Responsibility for this grim state of affairs lies mainly with the Syrian authorities, but U.N. humanitarian agencies, faced with the unenviable task of negotiating with a regime that has no qualms about killing civilians, have often played along. … WHO continues to subsidize the [the Syrian Ministry of Defense] even though none of those medical supplies are permitted to reach Ghouta. … The deprivation in Eastern Ghouta is all the more alarming because it is occurring down the road from specialized labs and pharmacies in Damascus and the U.N.’s vast humanitarian apparatus in the city, which includes World Food Programme and UNICEF warehouses stocked with food and nutritional supplies, WHO’s piles of essential medicines and equipment, and hundreds of U.N. and other international aid workers. … Four and a half years into the Assad regime’s siege warfare, U.N. agencies have failed to address the fundamental question of whether, by subsidizing these atrocities, their operations in Damascus are doing more harm than good” (2/9).

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