The Syrian humanitarian food farce

The Daily Beast reports: Lice shampoo — more than one bottle for every two residents. Sand-fly nets — more than 1,000 of them, designed to stop the spread of leishmaniasis, a sand-fly-borne skin disorder that isn’t prevalent in southern Syria.

After four years, the 4,000 residents of the besieged Damascus suburb of Darayya received their first official multi-agency United Nations aid convoy Wednesday. But documents viewed by The Daily Beast show that the convoy carried items that are largely useless to the population, whose primary concerns are starvation and disease. And even at that, the Assad government gave the convoy permission for the partial delivery in an eleventh-hour concession to stop the UN from staging air drops of desperately needed aid.

Darayya is only 15 kilometers — fewer than 10 miles — from downtown Damascus. Despite extensive social media fanfare by the agencies taking part in the convoy, the first “successful” delivery to the area since 2012 was far from cause for celebration for the besieged residents.

“It is unprecedented in areas of conflict that the UN and the aid community as a whole is not allowed to access an area for four years,” a UN official who did not want to be named for fear of the impact on the work of their organization, told The Daily Beast. [Continue reading…]

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