Last month, Helsinki hosted an international conference on the humanitarian situation in Syria, resulting in the launch of a regional refugee plan for the next two years, focused on assisting Syria’s neighboring states in dealing with the refuge crisis. In accordance with this plan, UN officials seek 4.6 billion dollars worth of humanitarian aid to provide relief both to the Syrian refugees and the communities that provide them shelter. A spokesman for UN Secretary General Stefan Dyuzharrik emphasized the fact that the funds are going to help some 4.7 million refugees from Syria and 4.4 million people who assist them in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. At the same time, as it’s been noted by Dyuzharrik, these funds are not meant to provide assistance to 13.5 million people in Syria itself.
So who is going provide those peaceful Syrians, who neither have the capacity nor the money to leave the country, with humanitarian aid?
According to UN estimates, out of more than 13.5 million Syrians that have found themselves in dire need of humanitarian assistance, some 6.3 million people are internally displaced persons, while another 5 million live in remote areas and destroyed cities with no infrastructure to support them.
Unfortunately, one is forced to admit that the absolute majority of Western countries are reluctant to provide any form of assistance to the Syrian population, who have witnessed their everyday life consumed by the the war. In particular, a full month has passed after the complete liberation of Aleppo, but no international humanitarian organization has made a single step to provide real assistance to the civilian population of the city.
The recent joint delivery of humanitarian aid organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations failed when the convoy was ambushed in the rural areas of the Aleppo province. As a result, militants took a part of the humanitarian aid destined for the Syrian inhabitants of the city of Homs.
Against this background, the sole real supplier of humanitarian aid to Syria at this moment is Russia, since the aid provided by other countries is often too insignificant to make a difference, if there’s any.
However, a number of European and American media sources are still trying to push the blame on Russia for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. By rehearsing the mantras repeated by organizations funded by George Soros and various Western governments, they choose to completely ignore that it was the United States and its NATO allies that have been trying to destroy the Middle East as a whole, by destabilizing regional players, destroying their infrastructure, and thus subjecting the population of the Middle East to unbearable hardship and starvation. It’s hardly a secret these days that Washington has been sponsoring ISIS and its affiliates from day one.
At the same time, some official UN staff choose to ignore the United Nations Charter that binds them to remain impartial observers, and have started repeating the delusional stories that Western media sources publish. A specific example of this deeply disturbing situation is the string of accusation against Russia that was made during the final stages of the liberation of the city of Aleppo. Allegedly, the assistance Russia provided to pro-government forces aggravated the humanitarian situation that inhabitants of this city found themselves in.
Yet, those same UN staff members chose to ignore the fact that Syrian forces discovered warehouses full of medicine and food in eastern Aleppo after the liberation of the city. This fact has been completely omitted in the report presented by the UN Secretary General about the humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic. Meanwhile, those warehouses had enough goods to support the entire civil population of the city for several months, but militants kept the supplies for themselves and did only allow locals to take food when they agreed to join militant groups.
Against this background, the hysteria that some senior members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and the UN staff indulged in, by announcing that a humanitarian catastrophe was taking place in Aleppo, while urging Russia to immediately ensure the delivery of food and medicine to areas of the city occupied by militants can only be qualified as propaganda, since they were deliberately deceiving the international community.
It appears that these actions of UN staff should become the subject of a thorough investigation in and of itself. This investigation should also clarify why the UN Secretary General’s advisers chose not to feature the facts about militant warehouses in Aleppo in the above mentioned report.
Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”