UN Giving Syrian Government $519 Million for Humanitarian Assistance

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


The definition of insanity is giving money to the United Nations. Not only will it not end well, but it will usually end in the worst possible way. If you can imagine the most horrible thing that the United Nations can do with your money, it will probably find a way to do it. And then to do something even worse.

Does it really make sense to transfer more than $519,000,000 worth of international aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, when nearly every major world leader has predicted the imminent dismemberment of the Assad regime, if not the man himself?

If your only point of reference is the January 19 UN document explaining the rationale for the transfer to Syria of more than $500,000,000, you would be hard pressed to understand exactly what is happening in that country that has caused the huge increase in need for humanitarian aid.  The deaths of more than 60,000 in less than two years, which most people call the Syrian Civil War, are instead referred to in UN-speak as “the events in Syria since March, 2011,” or, sometimes, as “the current events.”

According to the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan for Syria contemplates the transfer of $519,627,047 to cover the period of January 1, 2013 to the end of June, 2013.

Incredibly, the report states that it “aims at supporting the Government of Syria’s [that's the Assad regime] efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations.”

The UN Plan has as one of its four objectives: “Support the government in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of critical infrastructure and vital public services affected by the current events through rapid repairs.”

The Response Plan reads like a document from another planet.

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.  This plan will serve around four million people, as estimated by the UN,  that have been directly or indirectly affected by the current events

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.

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.

The current affiliation of SARC is a matter of some debate. Their headquarters was bombed and rebel groups have been claiming that all the aid given to them is seized by the regime, but international NGOs have denied that this is the case. Some SARC personnel have claimed that they were arrested and tortured by the government. It is doubtful however that the Assad regime would allow SARC to go on operating if it wasn’t under the control of the regime and there is a huge amount of propaganda being generated by both sides in the Syrian Civil War.

To date, most relief items have been purchased in-country.  While this continues to be the preferred approach, other complimentary options may have to be explored, especially because essential supplies, like for example medicines are less available compared to the situation before to the current events.  Purchases inside the country will also be affected by inflationary pressures.

And purchases in country also help provide funding to the Assad government.

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.

Although no new comprehensive needs assessment has been conducted recently, sector needs assessments, combined with the figures provided by the Government, give an indication of the actual number of people affected and in need of humanitarian assistance.  Additional sector needs assessments are on-going, jointly with the different governmental counterparts and their findings will be used to respond to the identified growing needs.

This aid plan is running on figures from the Syrian government in a region where stealing aid is practically a national sport. Why not hand Assad a 519 million dollar check directly and save everyone the time and effort needed to redirect that money back into the regime’s pockets?

  • UCSPanther

    Whatever planet the UN is on, it sure as hell ain't Earth…

  • kafantaris

    We have become callous to the great suffering of the people of Syria — just as we had become callous to the great suffering of the Jews of Hitler’s Germany. History will be unkind.

    The heck with Russia and China — these two treat their own people no better.

    We need to act now in Syria. And we are already far too late — just as we were for the Jews.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Which people?

      The Alawites and Christians being killed by the Sunni rebels?

      Or the Sunnis being killed by the Alawite government?

      and please don't compare the Holocaust to the Syrian Civil War

      • hiba

        What?!!!!!
        Sunni AND Christians are being killed by the regime!!!
        the regime shells bakeries, schools, universities, gas station in a collective punishment kind of way.
        to your info: the churches are were both Muslims and Christians-among others are trying to hide their children from the regime's bombardment in so they can still have some classes and some normal life.

        Stop lying!

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Why would the regime kill Christians?

          It's the Salafi Jihadists backed by Qatar and Turkey that are killing Christians and Alawites.

          • Emad

            the regime kills EVERYONE who is against him, yes even christians. Read about Basil Shehadeh as an example. http://www.economist.com/node/21559392
            I am amazed that westerners are supporting Assad's regime who was accused of terrorism and supporting terrorist groups, like hamas and hizbollah and Iran??!!

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Why would the regime kill Christians?

          It's the Salafi Jihadists backed by Qatar and Turkey that are killing Christians and Alawites.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Why would the regime kill Christians?

          It's the Salafi Jihadists backed by Qatar and Turkey that are killing Christians and Alawites.

    • JacksonPearson

      You'd better understand the happenings in the Middle East, by doing a little homework on the Caliphate, the Muslim Brotherhood, and their infiltration of the white house. Tying the dots together is an eye opener.

      e.g., start here: http://muslimbrotherhoodinamerica.com/the-course/

  • Arlie

    Last I read at Debka.com Assad was sitting out in the Mediterranean Sea on a Russian Ship..

    I found a website with a slide show of photos of Syria and it is heart breaking to see the rubble they are trying to survive in, I don't see any money getting to that level of need and if it did there is nothing to buy…everything is destroyed..I don't know how they are even getting food. Most of them look very hungry and dirty.

    UN out of the US and US out of the UN….corrupt and causes more problems than it solves. The Lucifer Trust runs the only chapel in the UN and the only statue in the building is of Zeus.