UN hires Assad’s friends and relatives for Syria relief operation

The Guardian reports: The UN has hired scores of friends and political associates of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, as part of its relief operation in the country, according to documents leaked to the Guardian.

The staff lists show that relatives of high-ranking ministers have been on the Damascus payroll of UN agencies, including the refugee agency UNHCR and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

One former UN manager told the Guardian that every UN agency had at least “one person who is a direct relative of a Syrian official”.

The UN asked the Guardian not to identify any individuals on the staff lists to protect their safety.

A spokesman said “family connections are not taken into consideration nor investigated” when hiring staff, and the UN did not question prospective workers about their political affiliations. [Continue reading…]

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