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At first I couldn't believe the tweets I was seeing. I mean, you can say anything on twitter. You can say aliens have just landed. Don't make it true.

The very idea that the United Nations was planning to give to the government of Syria, and you know who that means, over $500 million dollars with no real control, meaning really no strings attached, was to me so incredible that at first I didn't believe it.

I have been saying for a long time that that world body, and even the United States, was in reality in Assad's corner, but this bold contribution to his war effort surprised even me. I had to read it for myself in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humantarian Affairs [OCHA] Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan for Syria (1 January - 30 June 2013)

All humanitarian assistance is, and will continue to be, delivered with full respect to the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic during the implementation of this Response Plan.  
...
This Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan aims at supporting the Government of Syria’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations.  It will cover the period from 1 January 2013 until the end of June 2013.  The financial requirements amount to $519,627,047
Now of course, the "Syrian government" is suppose to use this money for "humanitarian relief" while its still bombarding neighborhoods, and they are suppose to distributed it fairly, even to the hospitals that they are blowing up. And I suppose if Bashar al-Assad violates these rules, fails to stay in power, and finds himself in the Hague, they can add misappropriation of funds to the other charges he'll be facing such as mass murder, genocide and wanton destruction of many world heritage sites.

Other than that, its all good. Once these 500 clams are in his pocket, he can do with them pretty much as he likes. I mean, he has already shown how easily and throughly he can bully the UN on the ground.

And in case you think this money will find its way to NGOs that really are government independent in Syria, the International NGO Training and Research Centre has produced a 12 page report The NGO sector in Syria - an overview that you should take a look at:

"NGOs in Syria are required by law to register with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MOSAL)."
This "normalization of relations" with a government that is daily slaughtering its own people is a very dangerous thing for all of us!

The Syrian Institute for Progress (SIP) is asking you to petition President Barack Obama to:

Stop the U.N. from using the Syrian Government to hypocritically manage the Assistance Plan for Syria.

Press Release about the Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan for Syria 19 January 2013

The Syrian Coalition (SC) appreciates all efforts to provide aid and assistance to the needy of the Syrian people, especially in the difficult times they are experiencing for nearly two years now. The decision to allocate the amount of $ 519 million for Syrians inside Syria, as part of the Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan launched by the United Nations on 19 December 2012, is one the most important of those efforts; however, the coalition expresses its deep concern about the management of this aid, or whether it reaches the real needy inside Syria.

The plan* states that it aims at "supporting the Government of Syria’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations," and that a “Steering Committee” will be “chaired by the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates (or whomever he delegates)" and that “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates is the [Syrian] Government focal point in charge of the supervision of implementation of humanitarian projects" in addition to other administrative and logistical tasks!

The SC sees a clear contradiction in dealing with the Syrian regime as a legitimate government doing its job like any other government, at the same time that the United Nations and its various institutions issues reports holding the regime responsible for the serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, including the current government that was assigned by the head of the regime based on his interests! The SC wonders how it can be committed to neutrality if it doesn’t have an independent decision? Is it logical to provide aid to a regime responsible for destroying cities, bombing hospitals and bakeries and displacing population, so it can fix the dire situation it had created!

Moreover, preliminary results of the assessment conducted by the Aid Coordinating Unit (ACU) last weeks show an almost complete inability to deliver the aid provided by the United Nations or other international organizations to the northern regions through Damascus. What was delivered hardly covers ten percent of the original need, taking in consideration that more than ten million people live in those areas, ie. nearly half the population of Syria.

The ACU of the Syrian Coalition is working on providing aid to all Syrian people without distinction or discrimination, and confirms its commitment to humanitarian laws and international conventions in this regard. The SC expects to receive the help and support pledged by the States that have recognized it, and fulfil their promises through supporting the ACU to assist it in assuming the tasks expected from it.

The SC also demands that the humanitarian aid to the widows and orphans, the hungry, wounded and displaced in Syria, should not be delivered to them through the same party that caused their suffering and pain, for it would be an added humiliation and degradation.

For further information contact the Media Office at media@etilaf.org

Please Sign the Petition

Tue Jan 22, 2013 at  8:19 PM PT: The Syrian National Coalition is against the UN grant:

Syrian opposition against UN aid for regime

22 Jan 2013 - 02:41pm
The opposition Syrian National Coalition says it would pressure the UN to stop the delivery of any form of aid to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

'The participants decided to form a committee to move diplomatically and pressure the United Nations to stop delivery of any aid, approved under a plan to respond to Syria humanitarian needs last month, to the official Syrian institutions,' it said following talks in Istanbul on Monday.

The statement came as the UN explored a major humanitarian operation in the war-torn country, with its mission to Syria describing the need as 'enormous', having found people in dire need of medical and food aid.

During a two-day general assembly meeting in the Turkish capital, attended by over 60 delegates, the Syrian National Coalition was briefed by Free Syrian Army chief of staff General Salim Idris on developments on the ground.

Committees were formed to tackle a number of pressing issues, including ongoing hostilities between Kurdish residents of Ras Al-Ain and Islamist rebels and delivering $US250,000 ($A238,902) in emergency aid to the embattled town of Daraya.

Other committees are to focus on refugees from the conflict, rehabilitation for the wounded and border security.

The general assembly, which meets on a monthly basis, said it would act soon on a decision to form an interim government to manage areas 'liberated' by rebel fighters.

The Coalition will 'form a committee to communicate with political and revolutionary forces inside Syria, and with international organisations and governments to assure support for the interim government', it said, adding that a final decision would be taken in 10 days.

Click here for a list of my other Daily Kos dairies on Syria

Wed Jan 23, 2013 at  7:05 AM PT: I'm with this side. Some here are with the other side. I think that explains the controversy:


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 3-)

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:31:44 PM PST

  •  Maybe the other half (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P

    ...the non- al Qaeda-led rebels, need some humanitarian support.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:59:56 PM PST

    •  They do get humanitarian support (3+ / 0-)

      from international NGOs and UN agencies, and some of it (according to reports in the Turkish media not a small amount) is stolen and sold - often across the border in Turkey.

      The Turkish government and Turkish NGOs now generally target their aid in packages which they try to deliver directly to those in need in rebel controlled areas. They have greatly reduced the amount of aid provided in bulk which would then be distributed by someone else in these areas.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:59:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary is nonsense. Keep your politics out (6+ / 0-)

    of things you know nothing about.

    The OCHA is not allowed to take sides nor make moral judgements in a conflict. Just as the Red Cross and Red Crescent are not. The time honored principles of neutrality in a conflict MUST be adhered to by these agencies.

    The money will go to NGOs such as the Red Crescent for disbursement within Syria.

    http://www.un.org/...

    Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations.

    I.  GUIDING PRINCIPLES

      1.  Humanitarian assistance is of cardinal importance for the victims of natural disasters and other emergencies.

      2.  Humanitarian assistance must be provided in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality.

      3.  The sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of States must be fully respected in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.  In this context, humanitarian assistance should be provided with the consent of the affected country and in principle on the basis of an appeal by the affected country.

      5.  The magnitude and duration of many emergencies may be beyond the response capacity of many affected countries.  International cooperation to address emergency situations and to strengthen the response capacity of affected countries is thus of great importance.  Such cooperation should be provided in accordance with international law and national laws. Intergovernmental and non- governmental organizations working impartially and with strictly humanitarian motives should continue to make a significant contribution in supplementing national efforts.

    BTW, the rebels have been using ambulances to transfer weapons as reported by the UK press within Syria. This is a war crime.
  •  Your ignorance and maliciousness are breathtaking. (8+ / 0-)

    First let's take a look at that $519,627,047 that the UN is 'planning to give to the government of Syria'.

    Table II. Summary of requirements and funding by UN agency Appealing agency Original Requirements $

    FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
    34,850,000

    ORHC (Office of the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator)
    4,950,000

    UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)
    45,101,953

    UNDSS (UN Department of Safety and Security)
    3,244,000

    UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund)
    12,000,000

    UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)
    82,925,000

    UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund)
    68,438,800

    UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service)
    5,305,025

    UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East)
    75,087,822

    WFP (United Nations World Food Programme)
    139,259,447

    WHO (United Nations World Health Organization)
    48,465,000

    GRAND TOTAL
    519,627,047

    My goodness, I didn't know that the FAO, ORHC, UNDP, UNDSS, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNMAS, UNRWA, WFP and WHO were all parts of the government of Syria.

    And of course the UN is really secretely supporting al-Assad because the humanitarian assistance will be delivered 'with full respect to the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic'.

    It would never be because, as it is stated in the Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan:

    Humanitarian action will be conducted in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182 and the Guiding Principles contained in its Annex, under the overall leadership of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and in full respect of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity and the recognized principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality.
    which is required under UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182 "Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations" which requires in Annex I GUIDING PRINCIPLES that:
    1. Humanitarian assistance is of cardinal importance for the victims of natural disasters and other emergencies.

    2. Humanitarian assistance must be provided in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality.

    3. The sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of States must be fully respected in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.  In this context, humanitarian assistance should be provided with the consent of the affected country and in principle on the basis of an appeal by the affected country.

    ...

    And no doubt al-Assad would be able to do whatever he wants to with the moolah. The UN wouldn't do anything like what they say they will do in the Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan.
    This Response Plan incorporates 61 projects in ten sectors (each focal point is in charge of presenting its project) to be coordinated by the following Programme Management arrangements:

    1. Steering Committee, chaired by the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates (or whomever he delegates), with the membership of the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (RHC).

    2. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates is the Government focal point in charge of the supervision of implementation of humanitarian projects and coordination of the various sectors in an effort to avoid duplication, ensure coordination of programme data of all projects, evaluation of humanitarian needs, submission of regular reports on projects implementation, including evaluation reports.

    3. One focal point representing the Government for each of the sectors of the Response Plan, who will closely coordinate with the lead agency of the UN sectoral working groups.

    The RHC will jointly organize with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regular meetings of the Humanitarian Working Group, which is a forum composed of the Government of Syria and the humanitarian community: UN, international and local NGOs, SARC, IFRC and ICRC established to discuss implementation of humanitarian activities within Syria.

    Links:

    https://docs.unocha.org/...

    http://www.un.org/...

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:01:37 AM PST

  •  Anyone who recommends or tips this (6+ / 0-)

    post or its author should be ashamed of themselves for supporting these twisted lies.

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:05:31 AM PST

  •  There's confusion on both sides of this debate - (0+ / 0-)

    Or venting of spleen, as it might be more accurately described. But there's more on the side of Clay's opponents (who seem to be caught up in a fest of wishful thinking) than on Clay's part.
    Clay  is being overly-conspiratorial in his suggestion that this is deliberate UN assistance for Asad; and he is also wrong in suggesting that the UN is just going to write Asad a big cheque and go away.
    But he is right that the Humanitarian Response plan posted on the OCHA site is an extraordinary document and shows the serious limitations of the UN system. This is a  document on humanitarian assistance which makes only the most anodyne references to the cause of the problems it claims to address - referring to them merely as "events";  the word "conflict" occurs once.
    And there's a simple reason for it which seems to have escaped people's attention - its a document drawn up by the regime - a regime fantasy on a par with SANA news bulletins. (Damaged hospitals - oh how did that happen - will be rebuilt - presumably to be bombed the day after; or maybe they'll save time and bomb them while their being rebuilt?)
    People also misread the document - the fact that the budget items are broken down by UN agency simply designates who in the UN will be managing the UN side of the programmes in that area - it doesn't define who will be delivering the aid. For every UN agency involved there is a Syrian government partner; and the document states quite explicitly "The Government of Syria, in collaboration with UN agencies, is launching a new HARP for the period from 1 January 2013 to the end of June 2013."
    So who is going to be in the driving seat? If in doubt try:
    "Decisions on strategic or logistical issues including field office locations should be done after formal consultations with the government in order to receive the clearance and accreditation."
    AND
    "This Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan aims at supporting the Government of Syria’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations."
    AND
    "Humanitarian action will be conducted in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182 ... under the overall leadership of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic
    AND
    "This Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan takes stock of the achievements made by the Government of Syria and the humanitarian partners during 2012"
    However I think Clay can relax - this (despite the apparent UN imprimatur) is nothing more than a regime Alice-in-Wonderland scheme, that has as much chance of operationalisation and funding in this form as I have of being the next President of Syria.

    •  You really have no clue as to how (4+ / 0-)

      international humanitarian aid, especially from the UN, works.

      Or is it that you for your own propagandistic reasons are trying to misinform?

      Your most ridiculous statement is this:

      its a document drawn up by the regime
      OCHA prepared this plan and wrote the report. There was input from UN agencies, international NGOs, the Syrian government, and some Syrian NGOs, but this is an OCHA report and an OCHA plan.
      Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA]

      UNITED NATIONS LAUNCHES NEW HUMANITARIAN PLAN FOR SYRIAN CRISIS

      (Geneva/New York/Amman, 19 December 2012): Today in Geneva, the United Nations launched the 2013 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (SRRP). Spanning January 1 to end of June 2013, the plans to provide humanitarian assistance within and beyond Syria’s borders require $1.5 billion. Collectively they comprise the largest short term humanitarian appeal ever.

      “This is the third version of the SHARP, and the fourth version of the SRRP, over the course of 2012,” remarked Radhouane Nouicer, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria. “It is highly unusual for such plans to be revised so often, and it is indicative of the rapid developments on the ground and the dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country. The magnitude of this humanitarian crisis is indisputable,” he said.

      The SHARP (for inside Syria) is seeking $519,627,047 to help an estimated four million people in Syria in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, including an estimated two million internally displaced people. The Plan encompasses 61 projects in ten sectors and covers all 14 governorates of Syria. “We [OCHA] are especially focusing on life saving interventions and aiming to help people who have become displaced, host families and communities, and the poor suffering from the multiple effects of the current events,” Mr. Nouicer said. The main life-saving needs outlined in the plan include food assistance, shelter, water and sanitation, nutrition and emergency medical services, cash assistance, basic services, and non-food items, such as mattresses and bedding, kitchen and hygiene sets, and clothes.

      The conflict has become increasingly brutal and indiscriminate and has exacted a heavy toll. The number of people in need of assistance inside Syria has quadrupled from one million in March 2012 to four million in December.

      “We have come a long way in a relatively short period of time and under a most difficult operating environment,” said Mr. Nouicer. “Aid is getting out there in Syria, even if not at the scale we would like to see. There are many challenges in terms of access, partnerships, fuel and funding. But we have found, and will continue to find, creative ways to reach more people, and alleviate some of the tremendous suffering they are enduring,” he said.

      The Syria Regional Response Plan led by UNHCR was developed to provide protection and assistance to Syrian refugees and host countries. Currently there are over half a million Syrians registered or awaiting registration in neighbouring countries and North Africa.

      http://reliefweb.int/...

      The report includes the name of the Syrian government because the plan was prepared after a request for it was made by the Syrian government and will be implemented with the consent of the Syrian government as required by UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182.

      The Syrian government is 'in the driving seat' only in that it allows or doesn't allow the projects to be implemented and provides some security and logistics. Other than that the projects are under the control and very strict supervision of the UN agencies. If there is any interference from the Syrian government in a project the project is put on hold until the interference stops, or is closed down.

      Try to learn at least a little about the subject you are writing about before you write, then you won't look like such a fool.

      Additionally, your flippant uncaring desire for the failure of this well-planned serious and very necessary effort to provide aid for up to four million people in need of assistance in Syria is disgusting.

      However I think Clay can relax - this (despite the apparent UN imprimatur) is nothing more than a regime Alice-in-Wonderland scheme, that has as much chance of operationalisation and funding in this form as I have of being the next President of Syria.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:29:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I may not know a lot about the mechanics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clay Claiborne

        of drawing up UN relief programmes - although I can guess quite a lot from the nature of this one - but I do understand the Asad regime - and I can read.
        I don't doubt that it was drawn up by UN experts- but it doesn't just "include the name of the Syrian government" - it is issued in the name of the Syrian Government and the first paragraph states quite explicitly : "The Government of Syria, in collaboration with UN agencies, is launching a new HARP. The document is riddled with formulae like this, as I illustrated in my post, but you choose to ignore.
        The UN may regard these as just formal niceties, verbal concessions that it has to make to get Syrian government cooperation to do its work, but you can be sure that the regime will regard these provisions with deadly seriousness.
        You say "the projects are under the control and very strict supervision of the UN agencies" - then why are there Syrian "Lead Government Bodies"designated for every sector? why for every single project is the list of "implementing partners" headed by a Syrian ministry?
        Do you really believe that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is going to lead a programme "Providing children, adolescents with psycho-social support through Child-friendly spaces and community based activities"?
        Good god, do who do you think you're dealing with here, the government of Denmark!
        I can understand why the UN is forced to play the game of pretending that they are dealing with a "normal "government, rather than a "regime that
        speaks like a state but acts like a militia" (Peter Harling, ICG) and has been slaughtering its people for the last two years.
        But why you choose to deny the character of the regime and peddle illusions that it can provide a viable partner for child psychiatry programmes I do not know.

        •  Once again - (5+ / 0-)

          You really have no clue as to how international humanitarian aid, especially from the UN, works.

          Even though you may be able to read you seem to have problems with acquiring knowledge. But that's probably just for knowledge that doesn't fit your narrow agenda.

          These are not 'formal niceties' or 'verbal concessions' made by the UN. They are requirements of the UN system.

          There are Syrian 'Lead Government Bodies' designated in the plan and report because the UN requires that a request for plans must be made by the government of the country involved and that they be implemented with the consent of the government of the country involved. Who is it that you think makes these requests and provides this consent? It is the Syrian 'Lead Government Bodies'.

          This is not the first time, nor the last, that the UN and its agencies have made such plans and implemented such projects with countrıes of every stripe. They have years of experience in successfully providing humanitarian aid in very difficult conditions and with every kind of government.

          You also seem to completely overlook the fact that this is not a new project, it is a continuing one. If the UN had had major problems with the Syrian government in the implementaion of projects last year, or the years before that, do you think they would have continued this year?

          And by the way I am not

          deny[ing] the character of the regime and peddl[ing] illusions that it can provide a viable partner for child psychiatry programmes
          I am explaining how this post and your comments are worthless malicious drivel.

          Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

          by InAntalya on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:25:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Then learn about the "mechanics" before (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, InAntalya, Rusty Pipes

          you give an ill formed opinion. Take note that the rebels perceive the Red Crescent (SARC) to be too close to the regime. This hinders its functioning in rebel held territory. Crap like this diary of Claiborne's only exacerbates the situation. The humanitarian agencies MUST remain neutral to be effective.

          Read the following and educate yourself!

          http://ec.europa.eu/...
          Year: 2012 Last update: 12/12/12
          Version 4
          ECHO/SYR/BUD/2012/91000 1
          HUMANITARIAN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN (HIP)
          SYRIA CRISIS

          ...
          2) Description of most acute humanitarian needs

          The following outlines the most acute humanitarian needs by sector.

          Health:

          In Syria:

          People wounded or in need of emergency medical assistance in areas immediately affected by the violence require a safe medical response. Serious allegations of abuses in Ministry of Health facilities have led many patients to rely exclusively on alternative health support, provided by private clinics, SARC facilities or clandestine field hospitals. In many areas, the partial or total destruction of health facilities as well as movement restrictions have further hindered access to medical care. In areas of displacement, medical facilities have been overwhelmed by the number of newcomers and are struggling to meet the needs. Most of the facilities lack basic medical equipment, drugs and personnel. Increased prices in raw materials, shortage of fuel and the development of hostilities in Aleppo, where most of the pharmaceutical companies are located, have limited the local production of drugs and affected the supply of medicines in most of the Governorates. Psychosocial support has been also identified as one of the needs of the most affected population exposed to traumatic situations.
          ...
          3. HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

          1) National / local response and involvement

          In Syria:

          The bulk of the response to the most vulnerable is provided by the Syrian population itself that has shown impressive solidarity over the past 18 months of conflict.

          The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) is playing a central role in the humanitarian response. Throughout its 14 branches (one per Governorate), divided into sub-branches, SARC volunteers are operating in close cooperation with DG ECHO partners. SARC is the main actor involved in the assessment of the needs, the identification of the most vulnerable people, the registration and the distribution of relief items. SARC is also the main provider of emergency medical care throughout a growing set-up of mobile and fixed clinics as well as ambulances that have privileged access to affected areas and remote rural locations.

          Confronted to growing needs, SARC capacities have become overstretched and it has no other choice but to increasingly rely on local charities and organizations for the preparation and implementation of relief operations. Alternatives to SARC are even more needed as the National Society is perceived by a large part of the opposition as too close to the regime, which could hinder its ability to safely operate in parts of territory outside government control. The authorities have accepted that international actors start operating directly with other local NGOs.

          The rebels have been looting warehouses in Aleppo and selling the spoils on the black market.
          Syrian rebels sidetracked by scramble for spoils of war
          Thursday 27 December 2012
          ...
          There were many further stories of looting heard during the our time in Aleppo. A pharmacist who had volunteered as a medic in one of the rebel field hospitals explained why he was running short of penicillin.

          The rebels had taken over the warehouse of a leading pharmaceutical company and then had resold the stock back to the owners, shipping all the drugs back into government-held territory, he claimed.

          He added: "I went to the warehouse to tell them they had no right to the medicine and that it should be given to the people and not re-sold. They detained me and said they would break both my legs if I ever went back."

          •  @Claudius (0+ / 0-)

            "The humanitarian agencies MUST remain neutral to be effective."
            Absolutely correct - but can you eplain how they can do this in a scheme which is described as being led by the Syrian government, in which every project has a government ministry as a lead partner, and in which the operations of non-Syrian actors are subject to government regulation, all the way down to the location of their field offices?
            The discussion here is not about whether assistance is needed, but whether this plan - which turns a blind eye to the conflict that has riven the country and made the assistance necessary in the first place  - can be anything more than a fantasy.
            Its like hiring someone who has shot you to perform the surgery to remove the bullet.

            •  The 2012 SHARP plan (3+ / 0-)

              (the one prepared by OCHA just like the one so badly maligned in the text and your comments above) included projects which would cost $348,340,163.

              Donors contributed $206,117,253 (59% of planned amount) for these projects.

              This is a list of the donors and the amounts they contributed:

              United States of America 82,640,375  
              Central Emergency Response Fund 27,879,609  
              European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office 19,418,036  
              United Kingdom  18,221,751  
              Germany 8,815,460  
              Australia 8,682,120  
              Russian Federation 6,000,000  
              Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of) 5,917,000  
              Sweden 4,528,736  
              Switzerland 3,533,984  
              Netherlands 2,857,142  
              Italy 2,492,664  
              Norway 2,383,186  
              Emergency Response Fund (OCHA) 1,849,157  
              Saudi Committee 1,638,974  
              Finland 1,614,990  
              Canada 1,460,965  
              France 1,378,733  
              Belgium 514,004  
              Japan 500,000  
              Poland 461,610  
              League of Arab States 428,038  
              Korea, Republic of 400,000  
              Allocation of unearmarked funds by UNMAS 390,000  
              Ireland 376,412  
              Austria 358,949  
              India 294,517  
              UNICEF National Committee/Switzerland 278,708  
              Private (individuals & organisations) 251,864  
              Allocation of unearmarked funds by UNICEF 241,495  
              Spain 147,595  
              Hungary 81,556  
              Slovenia 75,282  
              UNRWA Spanish Committee 4,341

              For the Jan.-June 2013 SHARP plan (the one you call a fantasy), which was just launched, so far $19,401,402 (4% of the $519,627,047 required for the projects planned by OCHA) has been contributed so far.

              On January 30, 2013 there will be a conference in Kuwait City hosted by the Emir of Kuwait, chaired by the UN Secretary-General, and attended by representatives of the UN Member States, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to discuss and raise money for the current Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (SHARP) and the current Syria Regional Response Plan (RRP).

              Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

              by InAntalya on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:05:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you as knowledgeable as you claim - (0+ / 0-)

                about international relief operations, you will know that the figures which count are not the committments but the disbursements. When you can provide the figures on those we will talk.

                •  The contributions received ($206,117,253) from (2+ / 0-)

                  donors for the 2012 SHARP plan were distributed to UN agencies as follows.

                  The columns are:

                  - The UN Agency
                  - The Amount Required by the UN Agency for Its Projects in the 2012 SHARP Plan
                  - The Amount Received by the UN Agency for Its Projects in the 2012 SHARP Plan
                  - The Percentage Covered

                  FAO     27,052,500    4,439,146   16.40%
                  ORHC     4,811,865    6,881,864  143.02%
                  UNDP    24,540,000      990,943    4.00%
                  UNDSS    1,040,180    1,076,398  103.50%
                  UNFPA    7,715,369    2,458,565   31.90%
                  UNHCR   41,759,300   22,210,744   53.20%
                  UNICEF  44,090,000   22,786,477   51.70%
                  UNMAS    9,416,261    2,241,164   23.80%
                  UNRWA   44,682,390   24,181,760   54.10%
                  WFP    112,087,298  108,235,324   96.60%
                  WHO     31,145,000   10,614,868   34.10%

                  Total  348,340,163  206,117,253   59.20%

                  You know how to bullshit. Why don't you try informing yourself a little? But, of course, that wouldn't suit your idiotic agenda.

                  Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                  by InAntalya on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:03:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  So, what should they do? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Claudius Bombarnac

              Give the humanitarian support to Al-nustra front and the islamic jihadist rebels who want to make that country a new Taliban-like place?  

            •  Try reading my post. You seem to have a (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              InAntalya, Rusty Pipes

              comprehension problem. I'll repeat it for you with some salient points highlighted.

              The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) is playing a central role in the humanitarian response. Throughout its 14 branches (one per Governorate), divided into sub-branches, SARC volunteers are operating in close cooperation with DG ECHO partners. SARC is the main actor involved in the assessment of the needs, the identification of the most vulnerable people, the registration and the distribution of relief items. SARC is also the main provider of emergency medical care throughout a growing set-up of mobile and fixed clinics as well as ambulances that have privileged access to affected areas and remote rural locations.
              Alternatives to SARC are even more needed as the National Society is perceived by a large part of the opposition as too close to the regime, which could hinder its ability to safely operate in parts of territory outside government control. The authorities have accepted that international actors start operating directly with other local NGOs.
              Tettodoro:

              The discussion here is not about whether assistance is needed, but whether this plan - which turns a blind eye to the conflict that has riven the country and made the assistance necessary in the first place  - can be anything more than a fantasy.

              Are you attempting to suggest that the UN supports the Assad regime - just as Claiborne's twisted logic does - by intimating the UN is turning "a blind eye to the conflict"?

              The opposition was militarized by outside forces within weeks of the start of protests which has created an escalation of tit-for-tat hostilities. There have been atrocities by both sides with the non-combatants trapped in the middle. How many videos have you seen with the rebels shooting from inside non-combatants homes and using them as cover for attacks against the government forces? This is SOP in asymmetrical warfare and is why there are so many civilian deaths in US drone attacks. It is also why the US has never been able to win any of these wars.

              Let me repeat, UN humanitarian efforts MUST remain unbiased in ANY conflict. It is their mandated position. BTW, they have been supplying humanitarian aid to Syria since the very start of hostilities.

              Syria: urgent call on warring parties to respect civilians

              26-11-2012 News Release 12/230

              Geneva/Damascus (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) remains alarmed by the manner in which the parties to the conflict in Syria are conducting hostilities. “Little regard is being paid to the plight of the population by the fighting parties,” said ICRC director of operations Pierre Krähenbühl.
              ...
              “As armed confrontations escalate, taking a heavy toll on civilians, we strongly urge all sides involved in the fighting to take immediate action to fully comply with international humanitarian law, otherwise known as the law of armed conflict,” he continued. These rules and principles apply to all parties to the armed conflict in Syria, and impose restrictions on the means and methods of warfare that they may use. The ICRC has repeatedly reminded them that they must at all times distinguish between civilians and persons directly participating in the fighting.
              ...

              •  @Claudius - (0+ / 0-)

                Please feel free to be as rude as you like, its water off a duck's back as far as I'm concerned and only shows that your stock of logic is running low.
                But don't put words into my mouth - nowhere have I said that the UN supports Asad. And I didn't say that the UN turned a blind eye to the conflict, I said that this plan did . If you disagree, tell me where in the plan it and the problems it would present for any implementation are discussed? And how could it since its a plan (whoever may have written it) that is presented in the name of the Syrian government, assigns a leading role to the Syrian regime in its implementation, and depends on Syrian government permissions before anything can move.
                To quote the ICRC from your link:" Little regard is being paid to the plight of the population by the fighting parties,”
                Note that it says parties - ie this applies to the Syrian government.
                So you think its a brilliant idea to assign someone who "pays little regard to the plight of the population" the role of lead partner in providing humanitarian relief!
                Like I say: Alice in Wonderland.

                •  The UN plan works because the aid is getting (3+ / 0-)

                  to the people. It is obviously not a "fantasy".

                  The discussion here is not about whether assistance is needed, but whether this plan - which turns a blind eye to the conflict that has riven the country and made the assistance necessary in the first place  - can be anything more than a fantasy.
                  I've been trying to show you that despite "state" involvement due to UN mandate, it is NGO's within Syria that determine where, when and how the aid gets dispersed..
            •  Al-Nusra using UK ambulance to transport arms (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rusty Pipes

              This is a definite war crime and severely endangers humanitarian aid workers. These rebel tactics have been going on for a year.

              Jabhat al-Nusra says it stands for 'justice'
              Sue Turton

              Sue Turton is an Aljazeera correspondent who has covered Afghanistan, Libya and Syria extensively for the AJE channel.

              We had arranged to meet members of Jabhat al-Nusra in a small town in Jabal al-Zawiyah.

              They expected to fully take Taftanaz air base later in the day and had agreed to escort us to meet the fighters who were leading the attack.

              This was a risk. Journalists and TV crews were increasingly being abducted in this area. We were trusting that this group valued our coverage more than our currency as hostages.

              I had sat in a small room the night before , under the black Jabhat al-Nusra sign, drinking tea and discussing the battle with one of their leaders. He had not looked me in the face. He was clearly uncomfortable in a woman's presence. But the arrangement had still been made.

              So the next morning we pulled into Taftanaz and were driven straight to the group's base. It was a hive of activity. The fight was over and the clear-up had begun.

              Well-dressed, well-armed fighters were hastily loading box upon box of ammunition into trucks and an ambulance with English number plates.
              ...

      •  Look in the mirror when you use the word 'fool' (0+ / 0-)

        Who are we kidding? The UN has little or no infrastructure in Syria to monitor or control anything. Remember how the UN monitors got ran out of Syria?

        The Assad regime [Syrian government] has been conducting a terror campaign to stay in power for 22 months. Civilians aren't collateral damage in its campaign, they are the targets.

        Assad is attempting to use "pain compliance" against the Syrian people. He is attempting the kill enough and destroy enough so that the pain will be so great that the opposition will just give up.

        Then he will slaughter anyone remaining who opposes him.

        He is a gangster and no NGOs operate in Syria without his approval. Once these $500 million enter Syria, in whatever form, or to whatever account, he will have a big say over how they are spent and to that extend, they will spent to further his war effort.

        The first and most important humanitarian relief the Syrian people need is and end to all bombs, shells and missiles from jet planes and helicopters. They are doing the most destruction and killing the most children.

        The UN certainly shouldn't be giving money to organizations controlled by the government that is doing that.

        For a refresher on just how these things work outside of fantasy-land, review my  Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?, especially the part about how Saddan Hussein milked the UN Oil-For-Food Program.

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:07:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  More bullshit (3+ / 0-)
          The UN certainly shouldn't be giving money to organizations controlled by the government that is doing that.
          You want humanitarian funding to SARC in Syria cut off?
          In pictures: SARC - a year of humanitarian action

          SARC is the largest national humanitarian organisation in Syria, and the sole organisation with access to many parts of the country through its 14 branches and extensive sub-branches. In extremely difficult circumstances, SARC provides relief and health support to displaced people remaining in areas targeted by violence, in cooperation with approximately 70 to 80 local NGOs and with support from IFRC, ICRC, WFP, UNHCR and other UN partners and international NGOs.

          Winter adds to the ongoing crisis for over 3 million people

          Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) continues its emergency response efforts responding to the needs of more than a million people each month, with staff and volunteers from the organization continuing to work under extremely difficult circumstances.

          SARC and the National Societies in neighbouring countries are requesting more support to protect the people from the hardship of freezing weather. Volunteers have already begun to distribute childrens clothing and blankets in cooperation with local NGOs. From the beginning of October a total of 34,546 blankets and 20,000 mattresses have been distributed in Aleppo alone.

          With the distributions plans being prepared for the period between November 2012 and January 2012, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will provide support with winter blankets, mattresses and tarpaulins for distribution in shelters and elsewhere.

          •  Let me get this straight Claudius - (0+ / 0-)

            Are you conceding that SARC is an "organization controlled by the government "? How does that sit with your claim above that the involvement of SARC was the principle guarantee of the aid programme's independence from the government.

            •  Your ignorance of (3+ / 0-)

              National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is apparently as deep as your ignorance of international humanitarian assistance.

              National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are autonomous organizations while at the same time being auxiliaries to their national governments as required by the Geneva Conventions and the statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

              So National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are to some degree 'under the control of' their national governments because they have to carry out certain responsibilities delegated to them by their national governments.

              The American Red Cross explains its relationship with the US government as follows.

              The relationship between the American Red Cross and the federal government is unique. We are an independent entity that is organized and exists as a nonprofit, tax-exempt, charitable institution pursuant to a charter granted to us by the United States Congress. Unlike other congressionally chartered organizations, the Red Cross maintains a special relationship with the federal government.

              We have the legal status of “a federal instrumentality,” due to our charter requirements to carry out responsibilities delegated to us by the federal government.

              Among these responsibilities are:

              - to fulfill the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, to which the United States is a signatory, assigned to national societies for the protection of victims of conflict,

              - to provide family communications and other forms of support to the U.S. military, and

              - to maintain a system of domestic and international disaster relief, including mandated responsibilities under the National Response Framework coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

              Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

              by InAntalya on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:20:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  @InAntalya -re (0+ / 0-)

                To reply to your post and those of yourself and Claudius on the WFP in Syria in one go
                If the WFP has been able to negotiate a relaxation of  the restrictions in which it has to operate in Syria, as Claudius reports, great, more power to them. But the ink is not dry on this agreement, so we don't know if its really going to materialise. The material on the WFP website makes it clear how restrictive the conditions are under which they have had to operate so far. And elsewhere they provide accounts of how the Asad regime has used the "food weapon" in their operations against opposition areas.
                There is also a world of difference between supplying food to deprived areas and proposing to construct "Child-friendly spaces and community based activities" in association with a regime that has killed over 4000 children thus far, and is doubtless killing more as we speak.
                How can you talk about carrying out  "minor house repairs" in neighbourhoods that are still being shelled and bombed?
                Re the ARC/ SARC: inAntalya's quote doesn't substantiate his argument: having tasks "delegated to you" is not the same as "being under the control of". And you continue to write as if Syria is just another happy democracy that abides by the rule of law -do you really believe that Syria fiathfully observes the Geneva Conventions?
                Let me give one illustration of the differences -
                the ARC is headed by figures drawn from the "great and the good" of the public and business world; the SARC is also headed by a prominent Syrian business figure. But whereas the ARC leaders come from a large and diverse democratic community, Dr. Abdul Rahman Attar is the head of a business group that was hothoused by the Syrian regime, and owes its existence to their patronage.

                •  The WFP has had to negotiate new (3+ / 0-)

                  arrangements with the Syrian government because they are expanding their operations in Syria this year.

                  Have the negotiations been difficult? Maybe, I don't know, but they often are in many countries.

                  Some might call this a 'relaxation of restrictions' while others might call it 'a negotiated expansion'.

                  "Child-friendly spaces and community based activities" and similar child, women, and social oriented projects are always included in UN agency and EU projects. Sometimes they are realised, sometimes not. But they will always make an attempt to do them.

                  In this case 'delegated' is the same as 'under some degree of control' because National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, including the American Red Cross, have to carry out the responsibilites given to them by their national governments and they have to do them how their national governments tell them to do them.

                  I have never said or suggested that Syria was 'just another happy democracy' but since you have no real argument to make you revert to misdirection and deception.

                  You might not like those who head the SARC, I really don't care what you think about them, but the SARC has quite a good reputation in the international humanitarion aid community.

                  Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                  by InAntalya on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:52:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A final comment - (0+ / 0-)

                    But I'm also happy for you to reply and have the final word. Its true that you've never said that "Syria is another happy democracy" but you compare the position of the ARC in the US with that of the SARC in Syria without qualification. How does that make sense if the two political orders are not at least broadly within the same category?
                    You can juggle the words used to describe what the WFP has achieved in Syria, but the fact remains that they operated under what they describe as a restrictive environment, and have now reached an agreement to lessen those restrictions (which may or may not be implemented). You may not regard the Asad regime as a happy democracy, but you should say whether or not you regard them as an entity that is bound to keep its undertakings.
                    A final question: as someone who has  some knowledge of international crisis management are  you really defending  the proposition that its a good idea to assign a prominent role in the delivery of humanitarian aid (and before you start to deny that is what is happening address my quotes from the HARP document above) to one of the protagonists(indeed the central protagonist)  in the conflict? I'd really like to see your authority for that model of civil conflict resolution.
                    There is a time for all things - and the time for this exchange has come to an end. We have both set out our cases; neither is likely to persuade the other; and if there is anyone looking on there is enough material for them to make up their own minds on the issue.

                    •  It's all about working within the constraints (3+ / 0-)

                      of international law. You wish to bend and break them to suit your purpose.

                      US Ambassador to South Korea Robert Gallucci has said that linking policy issues with humanitarian assistance is “bad ethically, morally and politically.” Human rights are “basic rights, entitled to all people regardless of nationality, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language or other status.”
                    •  You just can't give up trying to (3+ / 0-)

                      misdirect and deceive.

                      ... are you really defending  the proposition that its a good idea to assign a prominent role in the delivery of humanitarian aid (and before you start to deny that is what is happening address my quotes from the HARP document above) to one of the protagonists(indeed the central protagonist)  in the conflict?
                      I never 'defended the proposition that it is a good idea to ....' because whether it is good idea or not was not a part of the discussion.

                      What I have done is provide information about the 2012 and the Jan.-June 2013 SHARP plans and about how the delivery of humanitarian aid by UN agencies works.

                      I'd really like to see your authority for that model of civil conflict resolution.
                      In case you haven't caught on yet - this is NOT a discussion of civil conflict resolution, it is a discussion of UN agency humanitarian aid projects in Syria.

                      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                      by InAntalya on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:27:32 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I know that went the US gov't didn't want aid (0+ / 0-)

                delivered to the 9th ward after Catrina in NO, the ARC refused to provide those services and generally cooperated with gov't plans to use the disaster to displace people.

                It was left to activists to deliver aid to these areas.

                Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:41:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's a pretty wide brush you are painting with (3+ / 0-)

                  Maybe a better comparison would be if the Red Cross had been supplying humanitarian aid to the 9th Ward for a year and a half and all of a sudden the plug was pulled on their main source of funds.

                  What YOU wish to do is withhold humanitarian aid to countries that have a government that you disapprove of. That is tantamount to using humanitarian aid as a weapon or bargaining chip and can be considered a war crime.

                  The link you supplied to call for Obama to stop  humanitarian aid to Syria has less than 500 signatures. If Obama did this he could be charged under the ICC.

                  The denial of humanitarian assistance as a crime under international law

                  This article seeks to clarify under which circumstances the denial of humanitarian assistance can constitute a crime under international law. It examines three core crimes of international law: war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The paper does not suggest creating a new category of crimes, but rather examines the question as to whether the denial of humanitarian assistance fits into the definition of existing crimes. The purpose of covering all three crimes is to gain an overview of the possibilities for prosecuting someone for the denial of humanitarian aid. While the article is limited to situations of armed conflict, the consideration of crimes against humanity and genocide can open a discussion on the withholding of goods essential for survival in times of internal tension and disturbances not covered by international humanitarian law, or even in peacetime.

            •  SARC is not controlled by the Syrian government (3+ / 0-)

              But, by international law the Syrian government MUST allow it to operate within the country. Once there it can operate autonomously. The Syrian government has also authorized the Red Cross to operate within the country but the Salafist jihadis have constantly attacked them.

              All this information has been posted here. I'm not sure why you don't seem to understand any of it. I can only concede that you have a comprehension problem or are doing it deliberately in order to support Claiborne's claims.

  •  Al-Nusra controls bread supply in Allepo (0+ / 0-)
    Jihadi Fighters Win Hearts And Minds By Easing Syria's Bread Crisis
    ...
    UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Through Translator) It's been three days that I've been coming, and I didn't get bread. That's - wait; when you will see the FSA coming, they just get the bread. They get what they want, and they just leave. And we tell them; we tell them, give us, also, some bread - we are the same as you.

    MCEVERS: People all over the city have been getting frustrated with the FSA rebels. Then about a month ago, something happened. That's when armed Islamist fighters, with a group called Jabhat Al-Nusra, took over all four grain compounds. They provided fuel and protection. More bakeries opened.

    When the group was first formed about a year ago, Jabhat Al-Nusra said its aim was to create an Islamic state in Syria. Back then, it carried out Al-Qaida-style suicide attacks on Syrian government interests. Then the group changed tactics, and began fighting alongside FSA rebels on the ground. It's thought the well-trained and well-equipped Jabhat Al-Nusra is why rebels have succeeded in taking government military bases. Now, Jabhat Al-Nusra is all about winning hearts and minds.
    ...
    UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: (Translating) Give us bread.

    MCEVERS: The guys who have bread, have guns. They also wear black headbands with an Islamic creed written in white.

    (SOUNDBITE OF GENERATOR, KNOCKING)

    MCEVERS: The fighters invite us inside, then immediately disappear. The customers keep knocking on the gate. We're taken upstairs to meet the owner, Abu Kamel.

  •  Another terrible diary (5+ / 0-)

    of lies and distortion of facts.

    I also find it amazing that the author has never, not once, condemned some of the horrific crimes and suicide bombings committed by the jihadist  rebels in that civil war.   As bad as the Assad regime is, an islamic fundamentalist regime in Syria would be worse.    

  •  Civilians forced to dodge bullets for bread (3+ / 0-)
    Syrians dodge gunfire to buy bread (VIDEO)
    Syrians crowd a government-run bakery to get bread (ITV News)

    Civilians in Damascus, driven by hunger, are forced to dodge bullets every day to get food.

    They live in the largely rebel-controlled area of Yarmouk, and are caught between rebel fighters and volunteer forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar Assad.

    They huddle in groups of ten or twenty, making their way to government-controlled bakeries where people are desperate to get bread before the supply of flour runs out.

    At the frontline, they line up and wait until men in army uniform tell them it is safe to cross.

    Gunmen from both sides allow them free passage, but as soon as they pass, the shooting resumes.

  •  “Both parties are destroying Syria,” (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fire bad tree pretty
    Syrian Citizens Stuck Between the Regime's Rock and the Rebels' Hard Place
    By Ali Younes, January 21, 2013

    Is Syria just another proxy war?

    For those who have been following the bloody events in Syria in the past two years, it is clear that there is no doubt that the regime of Bashaar al-Assad is responsible for killing tens of thousands of Syrian citizens and destroying much of the country's infrastructure. But to say that is to say only part of the story.

    The different militant groups of the Syrian opposition, ranging from the Free Syrian Army, which is supported by the US and other western countries, to the Islamic Jihadists and Salafist groups that seek to establish an Islamic state in Syria, share significant responsibility for committing atrocities in the Syrian countryside, according to news reports and eyewitness accounts reported by several international media outlets.
    ...
    An Arab journalist and analyst based in Washington D.C who declined to use his name in this column, argued to me that the rebel groups that are currently fighting a war of attrition against the regime and particularly those with Jihadist bent represent a worst alternative to Assad's regime.

    Although he is not supportive of Assad's regime and blames it for its total dependence on foreign diplomatic and military assistance in order to stay in power, he equally, however, blames the militants for their dependence on foreign military and financial assistance.

    “Both parties are destroying Syria,” he said.
    ...
    The conflict and later the war in Syria has, in reality, been transformed from peaceful protests for political and economic reform into a proxy war between regional and international powers at the expense of the Syrian people and their country.
    ...
    Meanwhile, the prevailing public opinion in the Arab World accuses the West and Israel of keeping the Syrian conflict burning this long because, as the opinion goes, keeping Syria weak and unstable will only serve those powers. As for the Syrian people who chose to brave the killing and destruction and stay or those who are living in refugee camps across the borders the future is unpredictable and bleak even when the regime eventually collapses.

  •  Syria Allows U.N. to Step Up Food Aid (3+ / 0-)
    Syria Allows U.N. to Step Up Food Aid

    GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria's government has authorized the World Food Programme (WFP) to extend its reach in the war-torn country where 2.5 million people are suffering from hunger, the United Nations agency's chief said on Wednesday.
    ...
     "We have assessed the operational capacity of that 110 and we have identified 44 NGOs on that list that will give us the ability to scale up to another 1 million persons," said Cousin, an American who has led the Rome-based agency since April 2012.

    "The challenge is we have seen more attacks on our trucks in the last two months from the opposition. We can usually talk to them and get our food back, but it makes it more difficult to go into these areas," she said.
    ...

    •  WFP (United Nations World Food Programme) (3+ / 0-)

      was the largest (in USD terms) and best funded UN agency in the 2012 SHARP plan, receiving and using for humanitarian assistance in Syria $108,235,324 (96.6% of the $112,087,298 required for its 2012 SHARP projects).

      WFP is also the largest UN agency (in USD term) in the Jan.-June 2013 SHARP plan and is hoping to scale up its operations this year in Syria with $139,259,447 required for its Jan.-June 2013 SHARP plan projects.

      WFP Activities

      WFP has been operating in Syria since 1964, and has since provided more than US$500 million worth of food assistance in the country through development and emergency operations.

      Current events

      The World Food Programme is reaching about 1.5 million people a month in Syria with vital food assistance and is helping the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled into neighbouring countries. Working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), WFP is distributing food even in even hard hit areas subject to fighting.

      As needs are growing, with serious bread and fuel shortages across the country, WFP is working on ways to scale up to reach more people. As the UN lead logistics agency, WFP also provides handling services and transportation for goods other than food including blankets, medical supplies, clothes and cooking utensils on behalf of other humanitarian and UN agencies.

      WFP is providing ready-to-eat food to about 125,000 Palestinians and Syrians affected by violence in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. The three-month programme began on 22 December 2012 and consists of 12 kg of food per family each week – including canned goods and bread. To date, almost 5,000 families, around 25,000 people, have received WFP’s ready-to-eat food packages.

      ...

      http://www.wfp.org/...

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:48:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You want to stop this aid Claiborne? (3+ / 0-)
    Red Crescent sends more than 600 tons of flour to Syria
    10 January 2013

    The Turkish Red Crescent Society on Thursday sent nearly 625 tons of flour to civil war-stricken Syrians who face severe shortage of bread and shelter from cold weather.
    ...          
    Thursday's shipment marks the first of a series to follow to send a total of 38 thousand tons of flour to Syria.

    •  I think it may be legit to continue my comments on (0+ / 0-)

      your manipulative disinformation even though I've closed my discussion with InAntalya.
      First , no one wants to stop any aid - we are expressing doubts about the logic of trying to deliver it through the Syrian government which is the author of this humanitarian crisis.
      Secondly this is a shipment by the Turkish Red Crescent, of supplies raised by Turkish ngo's in their "Bread&Blanket for Syria" campaign" - it has nothing to do  with any UN agencies. So its good news - but has no bearing on this discussion. I assume that you are relying on your readers believing that because it comes from the Turkish Red Crescent it will be delivered by the Syrian Red Crescent. But there is nothing in the reports to suggest that - and given the geography and politics of the situation that is highly unlikely.
      So this is just another attempt by you to spin a fantasy Syria - a land where happy peasants sing the praises of wise President Asad, surrounded by Ministry of Social Affairs-sponsored "child friendly spaces" and immune to the cluster bombs falling arond them.
      Wondersyria we might call it. So I'll bid you farewell, Claudius in Wondersyria - for the time being.
      But I expect we'll meet again.

      •  You get all that from one question with (2+ / 0-)

        seven words?

        You want to stop this aid Claiborne?
        and you accuse Claudius Bombarnac of manipulation and spinning fantasy?

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

        by InAntalya on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:03:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Turkish Red Crescent has to get permission (2+ / 0-)

        from the Syrian government just like any other NGO delivering aid within the country. We have already discussed the legalities of international law covering this.

        I assume that you are relying on your readers believing that because it comes from the Turkish Red Crescent it will be delivered by the Syrian Red Crescent. But there is nothing in the reports to suggest that - and given the geography and politics of the situation that is highly unlikely.
        You obviously are completely clueless on how the Red Crescent Societies function. Both the Syrian and Turkish are members of the ICRC and abide by the very same rules. If they didn't they would not be able to use the term Red Crescent in the organizations name.

        There is no difference whether the humanitarian aid comes from private or various government sources, "Bread&Blanket for Syria" or the UN. The Turkish Red Crescent must still abide by the law as well as the mandate of the ICRC if it wishes to distribute the aid within Syria.

        The neutral intermediary role of the ICRC: at the heart of humanitarian action

        The ICRC's role as a neutral intermediary has enabled it to help countless people suffering because of armed conflict and internal violence. Pierre Kraehenbuehl, the ICRC's director of operations, explains what this means in practice.
        ...
         Is there a legal basis for the ICRC's neutral intermediary role?  

        Yes. It is based on legal provisions in the Geneva Conventions as well as the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The role of neutral intermediary can be in the form of providing good offices or, less commonly, mediation. Either way it requires the consent of all the parties involved before the ICRC can act. The overriding aim is that any action taken relieves the suffering of people whose lives have been disrupted by conflict, and promotes adherence to international humanitarian law – the body of rules that protects those not or no longer fighting.
        ...
        However, we have no doubt about the importance of the ICRC's neutral and independent humanitarian approach and the role we can play as neutral intermediary. Indeed, an increasingly polarized world is making this approach if anything more necessary than ever.

        The Syrian Red Crescent welcomes the help from its sister agency, especially in areas that are hard to access due to rebel activity. UN's Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos (video) speaks of this problem at the UN. The command and control mechanisms are fragmented in these regions. Each town/village has to be negotiated with separately.
        So this is just another attempt by you to spin a fantasy Syria - a land where happy peasants sing the praises of wise President Asad
        Straw-man argument. This diary is about using UN humanitarian aid to Syria as a bargaining chip in the conflict. This is a crime against humanity as shown in other posts in this diary.
  •  UN: Closed meeting on Syrian humanitarian aid (2+ / 0-)

    Only PressTV covered this story.

    UN briefs Council on humanitarian issues in Syria
    Tue Dec 18

    You know a UN Security Council meeting is important if they keep the press out.

    That was the case for Valerie Amos on Monday as she briefed the Council on humanitarian issues in Syria.

    The UN's Humanitarian Chief is recently back from Damascus -- where she met with the Syrian government on Saturday.
    ...
    She added that the Syrian government repeated the commitment it made to Amos and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon back in September that UN Humanitarian vehicles could move unimpeded in government-controlled territories.

    Amos says that working with the Syrian government is fairly simple -- since she has an open line of communication and always knows who to contact.

    The problem -- it seems -- arises when humanitarian personnel need to travel in opposition-controlled areas.

    The foreign-backed groups working to overthrow the Syrian government are splintered -- with different leaders in different neighborhoods.

    Crucially -- Amos says that dealing with the foreign-backed groups on the ground in the neighborhoods they occupy is very difficult.
    ...
    Amos said that American and French recognition of the Doha-based coalition makes no difference in her work -- in which she is mandated to contact whoever she must to get aid to the Syrian people.

  •  John Ging from UN - "not one dollar" (3+ / 0-)
    U.N. denies any money will go to Syrian government
    January 23, 2013

    BEIRUT: The humanitarian operations director for the U.N. denied Tuesday that any relief money would be given directly to the Syrian government in response to criticism from the opposition that a $519 million response plan, supposedly earmarked for the authorities in Damascus, was “hypocritical.”

    In Beirut after a four-day visit to Syria, John Ging told a news conference that “the U.N. humanitarian assistance is not handed over to the Syrian government, not one dollar,” but rather, he added, channeled through partners on the ground and “in accordance with humanitarian principles which put on all of us the obligation to ensure that the aid is delivered with integrity, neutrality, and on the basis of need.”

    Over the weekend Syria’s opposition National Coalition launched a petition against the U.N. and the U.S. government over the $519 million Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan, announced by the global body Dec. 19, and aimed at, in the U.N.’s words, “supporting the Government of Syria’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations.”
    ...
    While those involved in the conflict are “bent on the violence and destruction, we seem to really forget the nature of the people: The Syrian people, decent, civilized, generous,” Ging said.

    Until recently, Syria hosted the third-largest refugee population in the world, mostly displaced Palestinians, or those escaping violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia.

    “That’s the nature of the Syrian people and those same decent people now find themselves helplessly caught up in a conflict that is killing so many, maiming so many, destroying their lives and their livelihoods, and they don’t see any end to this conflict. They don’t see anything on the horizon except more killing and more destruction.”

    Ging stressed that the only way forward to end the fighting was to find a political solution.
    ...
    Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/...
    (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

    •  This statement sidesteps the issue (0+ / 0-)

      It isn't about who gets the money but who controls the process -  the Syrian government is one (if not the most important) "partner on the ground" in this plan - read the documents: project after project -the  list of "implementing partners" is headed by a regime ministry.

      Time to state the obvious once more - you don't deliver aid in a civil war through one of the belligerent parties - especially not the belligerent responsible for most of the death and destruction.

      •  You are deliberately being obtuse if you don't (3+ / 0-)

        understand how the ICRC works after all the information given in this diary.

        In effect you are calling for ALL humanitarian aid to be cut off from the Syrian people until the regime is gone and that includes the current shipment of flour by the Turkish Red Cross.

        This is a crime against humanity to use humanitarian aid as a bargaining chip in a conflict.

        If you continue on this line of reasoning after watching the following then I know you are deliberately being obtuse (to be VERY gracious).

        •  You just keep spinning (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clay Claiborne

          A nice video that has nothing to do with Syria. And I'm sure Red Crescent people on the ground are very conscientious.
          But we're talking about the design and overall control of the framework within which they have to work. Read the HARP document.
          Like I said, I don't know who told you that it was a good idea to assign the leading role in the management of humanitarian relief to the state machine that was creating the humanitarian suffering in the first place. I don't know who told you that the way to deliver aid in the midst of a civila war is by forming a "partnership" with one side.
          But whoever it was, they were lying.

          •  How aid is delivered into areas of conflict is not (0+ / 0-)

            under my or your control. The current way it is being done by the UN is how it has been done since OCHA was created. There are very good reasons it is done this way but you seem too thick to understand.

            By international law, no NGO can work within Syria except by authorization of the current government which is the Assad regime so you're going to have to suck it up.

            When John Ging inspected the country, he was accompanied by people from BOTH the government and the opposition.

            She said the UN was in regular contact with the Syrian authorities and other parties to the conflict to speed up slow administrative procedures and improve the understanding of humanitarian work which is based on the principles of neutrality and impartiality.

            Earlier this week, Emergency Directors from eight UN agencies visited Syria and Lebanon to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground. The team, led by OCHA Operations Director John Ging, spoke to representatives from local authorities and the opposition about the need for more humanitarian access and a greater presence on the ground.

            How about that - the UN got both sides to work together for a few days. Looks like the UN knows what it is doing.

            Let me repeat (again) how and why humanitarian aid is distributed within a country the way it is.

            Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance

            Whenever there is a disaster or a humanitarian catastrophe, the UN is on the ground providing relief, support and assistance.

            When men, women and children are trapped in the midst of war, the Secretary-General and his representatives help negotiate “zones of peace” for the delivery of humanitarian aid.  And UN peacekeepers protect the delivery of that aid — whether provided by members of the UN system or such humanitarian bodies as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

            From the HARP plan, info that has already been posted in this diary:
            This revised Response Plan will be implemented according to UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182, titled “Strengthening of the Coordination of Humanitarian Emergency Assistance of the United Nations” and the Guiding Principles in its annex.
            ...
            The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) has been designated as the leading national provider of humanitarian relief and through its thousands of trained and committed volunteers has provided the bulk of humanitarian assistance to date. SARC’s own analysis states that humanitarian needs are growing daily and that its capacity has to be further enhanced to respond to these needs.
            A nice video that has nothing to do with Syria. And I'm sure Red Crescent people on the ground are very conscientious.
            But we're talking about the design and overall control of the framework within which they have to work.
            It's obvious you never watched the video to the end just like it appears you did not bother to read the links that have been provided over and over in this diary. It is either that or you have a comprehension problem.
      •  You remember Libya don't you? (3+ / 0-)

        UN agencies have recently been providing quite a lot of humanitarian assistance to the people of Libya. In the spring and summer of 2011 how did they deliver it?

        It was with Libyan government consent (Now which government was that? ... Oh, right, I remember now. It was Muammar Gaddafi's government.), ministry participation, and working with the Libyan Red Crescent and Libyan NGOs.

        Does this sound familiar?

        And then there was Iraq pre-2003, would you like to guess how UN agencies provided humanitarian assistance there during those years?

        How is it that you think UN agencies provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank?

        What about the breakup of Yugoslavia? You might look into how UN agencies provided humanitarian assistance during that long and very deadly process.

        Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

        by InAntalya on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:52:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •   Gaddafi "consented" to aid for Misrata (0+ / 0-)

          by shelling the ships carrying it:
          http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
          Some international assistance was delivered to Gaddafi for the areas he controlled - primarily Tripoli. Some was delivered through the NTC in Benghazi. No one ever had the mad idea of letting Gaddafi manage the aid for the cities he was besieging.
           Similarly no one tried to deliver aid to Bosnia through the good offices of the Bosnian Serbs. The UNHCR was the lead agency (the position occupied by the Syrian government in this scheme) and the ICRC negotiated the modalities with all the concerned parties. Now that is the way to deliver aid in a conflict situation.
          UN aid to Gaza is delivered directly by UNWRA - its certainly not delivered through the Israeli government: http://www.haaretz.com/...
          Iraq wasn't in a state of civil war in the years preceding 2003, so there's no comparison. I don't know how the humanitarian aid for the northern and southern NFZs were organised - and I doubt you do either -  but I very much doubt that it was funelled through Saadam Hussein.

          •  A lot of UN aid was funneled thru Saddam Hussein (0+ / 0-)

            , although not for the NFZs, even the UN isn't wasn't that stupid.

            It was called the UN Oil for Food program and it is such a good example of just how UN-Assad program can be expected to work out in real life, that I am looking forward to doing a long diary on it and linking lots from this discussion, lamp chop.

            Personally, I could care less what InAntalya or CB think because I know they think Assad should win. I take my cue from those that have been giving their lives for 22 months to overthrow this class a war criminal.

            Tettodoro is absolutely right that the key point to remember is that this is in the middle of a civil war. Assad is already raiding civilian food stores to feed his army. Hello! You want to trust him with the WFP? Yes I'm sure he'll send some trucks right up to the refugee camp by the Turkish border. Let's hope he doesn't poison the food first.

            It's like we're in the middle of the US civil war and these guys are making "free trade" arguments for why England should be buying southern cotton.

            Yes, exactly!

            So far, I haven't heard that there is much controversy about this issue among the regime's opposition, and I would expected regime supporters to take the positions of the two Kossacks I named above.

            Mind you, I'm not saying that they are regime supporters, just that the tremendous effort they have put into defending Assad's right to this resource would be mightily appreciated by regime supporters.

            On the otherhand, if the position I have taken in this diary is opposed by Syrians or activists active in the struggle to overthrow Assad, I very much want to hear their reasoning.

            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

            by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:02:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The issue we are discussing in this diary is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              InAntalya

              how the UN and ICRC distribute humanitarian aid and the reasons behind it. The regime itself won't be delivering any aid. It will be done mostly by ICRC and other NGO's.

              You and Tettodoro advocate using humanitarian aid as a weapon or bargaining chip to support or penalize one or another side in a conflict. This is a war crime.

              BTW, there is going to be one severe problem with UN/ICRC giving humanitarian aid within Syria. The US has designated al-Nusra Front as a terror group so material support to them is criminalized. I leave that one with the two of you to figure out seeing as you both want to supply aid directly to the rebels.

              The National Coalition is not effective at all on the ground in Syria and have yet to start a discussion about forming a government in exile that the UN/ICRC could work with. They say they need $40 million a day to operate effectively within the country.

              On a cynical note:

              Maybe the US is hoping Assad will kill most of the terrorists before he is toppled. Keeping the conflict going so more Salafist jihadis flock to the destroyed and decimated country to be killed is a win-win-win for US/NATO.
              /snark

            •  There ain't going to be any cotton to buy (0+ / 0-)
              FSA raiding and burning a Cotton Cleaning Factory. Raqqa 20/01/2013

              http://www.liveleak.com/...

            •  Anyone who reads this comment will have a (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Claudius Bombarnac

              perfect window into the bizarre mind of Clay Claiborne.

              Let's start with these:

              Personally, I could care less what InAntalya or CB think because I know they think Assad should win.
              and
              Mind you, I'm not saying that they are regime supporters,
              Next these:
              I take my cue from those that have been giving their lives for 22 months to overthrow this class a war criminal.
              and
              So far, I haven't heard that there is much controversy about this issue among the regime's opposition,
              and
              On the otherhand, if the position I have taken in this diary is opposed by Syrians or activists active in the struggle to overthrow Assad, I very much want to hear their reasoning.
              And this:
              Tettodoro is absolutely right that the key point to remember is that this is in the middle of a civil war.
              It seems that Clay Claiborne and Tettodoro think that UN agencies shouldn't provide assistance to people during civil wars ?!?

              Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

              by InAntalya on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:56:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Read the UN's documents. (0+ / 0-)
            No one ever had the mad idea of letting Gaddafi manage the aid for the cities he was besieging.
            UN agencies didn't let the Gaddafi government manage assistance. UN agencies managed it, and delivered it with the consent of the Gadaffi government (in April, 2011), participation of the Gaddafi government's ministries, and working with the Libyan Red Crescent and Libyan NGOs.

            It was the same system. There were also other aspects of assistance by UN agencies but they were the result of UNSC resolutions.

            The Haaretz article illustates some aspects of how the system works. UN agencies providing assistance to Palestinians have to work with the consent of the Israeli government and with the participation of Israeli ministries. If there is no consent and no ministry participation projects are put on hold until there is. UN agencies don't just hand over the money to the Israeli government and leave, just as they don't/won't hand over money to the Syrian government as you claim the will do.

            Iraq pre-2003 was not all that peaceful and its people experienced great hardships. What was one of the major reasons for this? The Iraqi government - the one lead by Saddam Hussein.

            You should use your reading ability sometimes and maybe learn something.

            I do know how UN agencies delivered aid and it was at the request of the Iraqi government, with the consent of the Iraqi government, with the participation of Iraqi government ministries, and working with Iraqi NGOs.

            I'll give you a clue so you can learn something if you are interested. Look for pre-1998 WFP Emergency Operations (EMOPS) and the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) in Iraq.

             

            Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

            by InAntalya on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:14:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm on their side: (0+ / 0-)

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:06:21 AM PST

    •  Did you check out the website for SyrianCanCouncil (3+ / 0-)

      It is no longer working. It appears they only exist in the twittersphere.

      They raised funds for medical supplies to be distributed to the opposition last fall and passed it on to the Syrian Canadian Relief for Syria for distribution inside Syria. The Canadian government did not allow that.

      Unless they get accepted by the Syrian government, there is no way for them to get the aid into Syria. BTW, the Syrian Canadian Relief for Syria is currently applying for charity status in Canada.

      http://www.canadiansyrianrelief.org/...

      Press-Release CANADIAN RELIEF FOR SYRIA (CRS) REGRETS THE GOVERNMENT'S DECISION TO REVERSE SENDING MEDICAL AIDS TO SYRIA …

      The Canadian Relief for Syria (CRS) regrets the Canadian government's reverse decision to send medical aid to Syria via CRS. CRS calls for a responsible media campaign to raise public awareness of the urgency of increasing humanitarian needs of the wounded civilians in the war zone Syria.

      While being thankful to the Canadian government's leading stand in its humanitarian initiative to bring medical aid to large and disperse populations of gravely wounded civilians across Syria, CRS expresses its hope that the Canadian government will deliver on its promise and commit funds to help setting field hospitals and provide medical supplies to an increasing civilian population in need, and under distress.

      The Canadian Government will only send money for medical relief in Syria through the ICRC. Even though the conservative government supports the Friends of Syria Group, they still insist that funds go through legitimate channels.
      Canada gives $2M in medical aid to Syria

      Canada will provide $2 million in humanitarian medical aid through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The announcement was made Saturday by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Minister of International Co-operation Julian Fantino.

      "The Assad regime's continued assault on the Syrian people is producing a human tragedy that is getting worse by the day," said Baird, attending the United Nations General Assembly and a side meeting of the Friends of Syria Group. "Canada remains committed to exhausting its diplomatic and humanitarian options."

      So far, the Canadian International Development Agency has committed $12 million in support for Syrian civilians.

      "We call for immediate full, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian agencies to help those suffering as a result of this conflict," Fantino said in a statement. "Canada will continue to review the needs of Syrians, including those in neighbouring countries, and respond accordingly. We urge other donors to also support the most in need during this crisis."

    •  Here's a report about the Syrian Canadian Council (2+ / 0-)

      If you read the comments you will see how most Canadians feel about the Syrian civil war. It is very different than the government's position (think of the US under George Bush during the Iraq War). There is very little appetite within Canada for any Canadian involvement in Syria.

      A call to arms in Syria

      Whose war is it anyway?

      Canadian permanent residents and citizens of Syrian origin might be about to find out. They have been issued a call to arms.

      Despite living thousands of kilometres away from the bloody fields of conflict now convulsing their homeland they are being actively encouraged to do all they can to assist the revolution.

      If that means taking up arms with fighters in the Free Syrian Army, so be it.

      According to Khaled Sawaf, president of the Syrian Canadian Council, Syrians everywhere have a duty to assist in a civil war that has now claimed upwards of 12,000 lives.
      ...
      Earlier this year, Sawaf says the Canadian government offered $2 million to help in humanitarian ways, although it was withdrawn within 48-hours over a dispute concerning the charitable tax status of Canadian Relief for Syria, the chosen charity.

      Sawaf says money raised in Canada is now channelled through Human Concern International and distributed where needed in Syria.

      “We will keep fighting for freedom from here in Canada,” Sawaf concluded, “no matter what the cost. It has now been 19 months and still we want the end of President Bashar al-Assad.”

  •  Reports showing Canadian government attempted (2+ / 0-)

    to funnel money to Syrian opposition. This funding was cancelled within 48 hours when news got out. Take note that the Canadian Relief for Syria does not have charity status. The Canadian government made an attempt to deceive.

    Canada funnelling money for medical supplies to Syrian opposition

    OTTAWA — The Conservative government is intentionally channelling $2 million for medical supplies through a little-known Syrian-Canadian group because it specifically wants the equipment to reach Syrian rebels, Postmedia has learned.

    This represents the first time Canada has provided direct material assistance to opposition forces in their ongoing fight against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime — a marked change in stance after months of largely moral support only.
    ...
    It was only after questions this week about Canadian Relief for Syria’s background that the government confirmed the $2 million is for opposition forces and not general humanitarian aid, as many had been led to believe.

    The difference may appear to be little more than semantics, say analysts, but it is significant.

    “To me, humanitarian assistance should be neutral,” said Nipa Banerjee, who headed Canadian aid efforts in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2006. “It should not be directed only towards one group of people.”

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/...

    The Canadian government has made a major recalibration vis-a-vis the Syrian conflict. They are not supporting the referral of the Syrian government to the ICC nor have they recognized the Syrian National Coalition at this time.

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