Aid and Politics on Syria’s Border
Tim Whewell reports from Gaziantep on the Turkish-Syrian border. It is a city of intrigue, and its hotels are full of diplomats, activists and journalists, drawn by the conflict just a short drive away. It is also a hub for the co-ordination of aid into Syria.
For Assignment, Tim talks to aid workers and to local officials from both sides of the border to investigate allegations that efforts have been hampered by waste, mismanagement, and lack of transparency at the main body set up a year ago to organise assistance to Syria.
He hears how vast sums of cash from foreign donors were apparently unaccounted for, how piles of notes stacked up in a bathroom were handed out without adequate paperwork or oversight, and how confusion and waste has hurt efforts to help millions of Syrians.
Tim also finds out more about the Western diplomatic push that led to the formation of the Assistance Co-ordination Unit, and hears that for political reasons, not all the aid is getting to those who need it most.