Damasus, September 9: A group of 73 Syria based aid agencies have mutually declared that they are suspending all cooperation with the UN, including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. They accused the UN of “complacency” in aid delivery disputes. Also they have demanded an immediate and transparent investigation into its operations in the country because of concerns Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has gained significant impact over the relief effort.In a harsh letter sent to the UN on Thursday, 73 groups announced their withdrawal from the key "Whole of Syria (WoS) information-sharing mechanism". There have been ongoing disputes surrounding where and when aid deliveries would be made and the letter claimed that the Syrian government is exploiting the situation to limit aid to certain rebel areas when it serves military objectives, and that the UN is letting it happen.
Signatories to the letter are aid groups such as the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets. "The UN is [the] main culprit and they are as responsible as [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad's regime," says Zaher Sahloul, president of SAMS
UN officials in Syria are aware of the situation and remain silent. This deliberate manipulation by the Syrian government and the complacency of the UN has played hand-in-hand. The people of Syria have suffered ever more as a result."
The UN, in their response, praised the “tremendous work” of their humanitarian efforts, and vowed to continue both operating within Syria without the 73 partners, and to continue to improve efforts to deliver aid, saying they “welcome any public scrutiny.”