USA har lovet $ 250 mill. i ikke-dødelig hjelp til opprørerne og $ 800 mill i humanitær bistand. Men begge deler går tregt, viser opplysninger som Hannah Allam fra McClatchy har innhentet.
Etter masing en måneds tid fikk hun ut opplysninger som viser at bare halvparten av de 250 mill dollars er brukt. Den andre halvparten er fremdeles til behandling i Kongressen.
USA ønsker ikke å bli dratt inn i Syria og er redd for at hjelpen havner hos ekstremistene. Det gjør at Syria er lavt prioritert.
Officials said the funds were held up by a time-consuming process of vetting recipients in order to stop aid from going to extremists, winning approval from U.S. lawmakers and carving out delivery mechanisms in a war zone.
“Now that those pipelines are established, we’re in a position to get money moving quickly,” a State Department official, insisting on anonymity as per department protocol, said in a statement that accompanied the aid figures.
The department cautioned that the $123 million would include “communications equipment and vehicles, and will take several months to be purchased and delivered.” And that’s only after the weeks it might spend tied up in Congress.
Oversiktene viser også at USA ikke har gitt noe bistand til den syriske opposisjonen i eksil. Det sier noe om en inngrodd mistillit. Opposisjonen har ikke greid å bli enige og USA vil ikke finansierer krangler.
The four-page breakdown also acknowledges for the first time that the Obama administration hasn’t sent a dime yet to the Syrian Opposition Coalition, which it recognizes as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and has spent months trying to shape into a cohesive body. Officials say privately that they’re losing patience with the fractious exile group, which has failed to agree on a leader, form a transitional authority or win legitimacy on the ground.
The State Department official conceded that “we have not given any cash” to the coalition, but insisted that it wasn’t because the department was withholding funds. U.S. officials have told McClatchy separately that the State Department is considering diverting more than $60 million earmarked for the coalition because of rising frustration over the group’s deadlock.
Hva har mesteparten av de ca 120 millionene gått til? En advokatforening i Daraa-provinsen, medietrening til en lokale journalister i Aleppo, satelittelefoner til aktivister og sivil infrastruktur.
Det øverste militære råd har bare fått 10 mill dollar. Det sier også noe om hvor skeptisk USA er til den militære ledelsen.
The breakdown gives details of how chunks of the $127 million were allocated. The State Department said that $54 million – among the first money pledged – was spent on projects that helped to create a Free Lawyers’ Union in Daraa province, offered media training that allowed the broadcasting of Aleppo’s local election results last March and provided satellite phones so that opposition activists could still communicate after the regime imposed a blackout.
Another $63 million, already approved by Congress, “is being used to deliver basic community services,” such as repairing infrastructure and restarting public works in opposition-controlled areas. There are plans for summer schools in Aleppo and training for teachers to provide “psychosocial support to war-affected children.”
The balance of that $127 million – $10 million – was spent on aid for the Supreme Military Council, the group that’s nominally in charge of rebel militias and that the State Department has become more focused on after months of fruitless dealings with the political opposition. The money was spent on 200,000 battlefield meals, 529 medical kits and 3 tons of other medical supplies – not exactly what the outgunned rebels had in mind when they implored Western allies to supply heavy weapons and ammunition.
“The U.S. doesn’t have a clear policy and they’re facing the Russians, who have a coherent plan and who are supporting the Assad regime with weapons and with advisers on the ground – and the Iranians are doing the same,” said Nadim Shehadi, who specializes in the Middle East andNorth Africa at Chatham House, a British research institute. “So what is the United States doing?”