(Worthy News) - The UN has awarded contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to people closely associated with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, as part of an aid program that critics fear is increasingly at the whim of the government in Damascus, a Guardian investigation has found.
Businessmen whose companies are under US and EU sanctions have been paid substantial sums by the UN mission, as have government departments and charities – including one set up by the president’s wife, Asma al-Assad, and another by his closest associate, Rami Makhlouf.
The UN says it can only work with a small number of partners approved by President Assad and that it does all it can to ensure the money is spent properly.
Analysis of the United Nations own procurement documents show its agencies have done business with at least another 258 Syrian companies, paying sums as high as $54m and £36m, down to $30,000. Many are likely to have links to Assad, or those close to him. [ Source ]