United States Stops Syria Aid after Discovering Turkey Corruption

United States Stops Syria Aid after Discovering Turkey Corruption
Tue May 10, 2016 15:54:13

The US government has suspended funding several Syria aid agencies after discovering a systematic over payment to Turkish suppliers, a senior American official says.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s independent government auditor made the announcement in a statement, adding the organization had “established grounds resulting in the suspension of 14 entities and individuals involved with aid programs from Turkey.”

In its statement, USAID revealed “a network of commercial vendors, NGO employees, and others who have colluded to engage in bid-rigging and multiple bribery and kickback schemes related to contracts to deliver humanitarian aid in Syria.”

All charges relate to buying goods in Turkey, where suppliers were being systematically overpaid by NGOs, who are accused of failing to monitor their procurement, a process some of their staff were directly involved in.

Turkish private companies are charged with selling low quality goods, such as blankets and other basic materials for Syrians, to the NGOs at inflated prices and pocketing the difference, a senior USAID official said on condition of anonymity.

"What became clear in the course of this investigation was this was a pretty sophisticated operation," the USAID official added.

According to AFP, charities like the International Medical Corps (IMC) and the Irish charity Goal and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) which is headed by former British foreign minister David Miliband have been affected by the scheme.

The IMC, one of the largest providers of medical aid to Syrians, confirmed that it had fired a number of its personnel after the allegations surfaced.

The NGO says that the 430 clinics under its support have so far treated more than six million Syrians in Syria and its neighboring countries.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has furthermore displaced over half of Syria’s pre-war population of about 23 million.

According to the UN's Financial Tracking Service, the US donated $397 million to aid groups working in Syria last year.

The UN has asked for more than $7 billion to fund its Syria aid programs in 2016.

string(1972) "[{"id":"1810376","sort":"3543348","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/04/20/alalam_635967844514972199_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Russian UN Envoy Calls on Closing Syria-Turkey Border to End ISIS Arms Flow"} ,{"id":"1810648","sort":"3543347","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/04/21/alalam_635968658848832092_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Turkey Plays Destructive Role in Syria Crisis: Russia"} ,{"id":"1812101","sort":"3543346","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/04/26/alalam_635972753171945511_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"ISIS Conveys Oil from Syria Jabisah Field to Turkey via Raqqa: Local Residents"} ,{"id":"1812181","sort":"3543345","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/04/26/alalam_635972902583165602_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"What is the Reason Turkey Deploys Missile Systems on Border With Syria"} ,{"id":"1813787","sort":"3543344","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/05/01/alalam_635977243609227043_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Infighting Intensifies between ISIS, Rival Terrorist Groups near Syria’s Border with Turkey"} ,{"id":"1814642","sort":"3543343","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/05/04/alalam_635979522603326991_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"6,000 Terrorists Arrived in Syria from Turkey in Recent Days"} ,{"id":"1814722","sort":"3543342","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/05/04/alalam_635979689695338837_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Turkish FM Calls on Immediate Action against ISIS in Syria-Turkey Border"} ,{"id":"1814805","sort":"3543341","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/05/04/alalam_635979861806383300_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE FMs to Meet in France over Syria Crisis"} ,{"id":"1814822","sort":"3543340","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/05/04/alalam_635979905519754200_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Turkey May Launch Troops to Syria against ISIS if Necessary: Prime Minister"} ,{"id":"1816101","sort":"3543339","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/05/08/alalam_635983244048756823_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Turkey Claims Shelling Kills 55 ISIS Militants in Syria’s Aleppo"} ]"