The U.S. government sends a monstrous amount of aid without oversight to countries largely controlled by terrorists, even after reports of widespread fraud, abuse and corruption by radical elements that limit the humanitarian assistance from reaching those in need. As an example, this week the U.S. announced it was providing Syria with an additional $808 million in emergency relief to provide citizens in the Middle Eastern country with food, healthcare, shelter, multipurpose cash, water, agriculture support for farmers, sanitation, and other services. With the new allotment the U.S. has spent a startling $15 billion to provide Syria, which has long appeared on the State Department list of nations that sponsor terrorism, with humanitarian aid. “This newly announced assistance comes at a critical time, as more than 12 million Syrians do not have enough to eat, nearly 14 million have been displaced, basic services are destroyed, civilians continue to be killed by airstrikes and artillery, and some 14.6 million people require humanitarian aid — more than at any time since the start of the war,” the government writes in its latest Syrian aid announcement.
For over four decades Syria has appeared on the State Department list of nations that sponsor terrorism for repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism. The designation comes with sanctions, including restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance, a ban on defense export and sales, certain controls over exports of dual use items and financial restrictions. Syria has been a fixture on the list since 1979 for its continued political and military support to various terrorist groups, including Hizballah, Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Al Qaeda, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and affiliated terrorist networks operate in Syria with the government’s encouragement, the State Department assessment says, further noting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s administration has released thousands of violent extremists from its prisons, fueling a rise in terrorism within the country. “Additionally, Shia militia groups in Iraq, some of which are U.S.-designated terrorist organizations aligned with Iran, continued to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of the Assad regime,” according to the State Department.
It is not difficult to see how American taxpayer aid could fall into the wrong hands, specifically the terrorist networks in control. In fact, a federal audit reveals that for years the government has “lacked a framework to manage fraud risks in humanitarian responses,” in Syria. The culprit is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department offshoot with a $40 billion budget that annually doles out gigantic sums to foreign causes, including a multitude of leftist groups around the globe. Since 2015, the USAID Office of Inspector General (OIG) has warned in various probes of the pervasive fraud and corruption surrounding the government’s generous aid to Syria yet little has been done to correct the problem while the money keeps flowing. “OIG’s investigations into USAID’s Syria humanitarian response revealed significant programmatic weaknesses and fraud and abuse in Agency programs delivering assistance in and around Syria,” the watchdog writes in a recent report, that also reveals “limited oversight left USAID’s Syria humanitarian response vulnerable to fraud and abuse.” Over the years, several OIG investigations have uncovered complex fraud operations affecting the quality and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance delivered to refugee camps as well as hundreds of illicit schemes including bid-rigging, bribery, collusion, kickbacks, and product substitution across dozens of suppliers.
Though USAID has failed to address the dire problems in Syria, public funds dedicated to humanitarian causes increase and the agency continues to portray its projects in the terrorist nation as successful. This week’s $808 million allocation is being promoted as assistance that has come at a critical time for more than 12 million Syrians who do not have enough to eat and nearly 14 million who have been displaced. The announcement mentions a United Nations reauthorization that allows aid to be delivered directly to people in northwest Syria who rely on the assistance to survive. “It is imperative to keep humanitarian aid flowing for millions in one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises,” the USAID announcement states, adding that the U.S. remains the single largest humanitarian donor to the Syria response, including support for the COVID-19 pandemic response for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. The agency claims its assistance is reaching more than 5.5 million people per month. Various federal probes seem to indicate otherwise.