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Aid sent to Syrian Arab Red Crescent confiscated by regime

By Katerina Nikolas     Nov 8, 2012 in World
Over a million people in Syria are reliant on emergency aid but the country is said to be heading for a humanitarian catastrophe. One aid organization claims that 95 percent of all international aid it is sent is being confiscated by the Assad regime.
As various aid organizations work to provide assistance to internally displaced persons, much of the aid is failing to reach its intended targets. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent claims 95 percent of cash and materials sent to it are confiscated by the regime and goes to support, primarily, regime soldiers.
Al Arabiya reported Tawfik Chamaa, spokesman for the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations (UOSSM), said of the aid sent to Damascus, that it "will not reach the civilians who are bombed every day or besieged."
Chamaa further claims that stolen aid, together with items looted from homes, is being sold on the black market
Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said there are spots that no aid is reaching. Reuters reported he said: "We are in a situation where the humanitarian situation due to the conflict is getting worse. And despite the fact that the scope of the operation is increasing, we can't cope with the worsening of the situation."
However, the ICRC, together with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), state that the claims that Chamaa made regarding aid being diverted to the regime are unsubstantiated.
Meanwhile, as winter approaches FP reports that ICRC is underfunded to meet the winter needs. It estimates the winterization programme needs $75 million.
More about Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Aid for Syria, Assad regime, World food program