COVID-19 Pandemic Must Not Excuse Abuse of Humanitarian Aid
The abuse of humanitarian aid organizations in conflict zones is a constant global concern, particularly during times of crisis. For example, it was found that prominent international NGOs were involved in a “sex for food” scandal in Haiti and the World Food Programme has alerted the UN to the diversion of its resources to terror groups in Yemen.
The same concerns about misappropriation, diversion, and misallocation of aid exist in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, where UN-OCHA, in coordination with the WHO and other international actors, is seeking $2 billion in funding for its “COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan.”
In Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, the COVID-19 Response Plan is seeking $34 million in funding to, in its own words, “respond to the public health needs and immediate humanitarian consequences of the pandemic in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip” (emphasis added).
NGO Monitor, a project of the Institute for NGO Research, notes that a number of the NGO implementing partners that are carrying out this plan have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group — designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. The PFLP is involved in suicide bombings, shootings, and assassinations, among other terrorist activities targeting civilians, and was the first Palestinian organization to hijack airplanes in the 1960s and 1970s.
At least five of OCHA’s identified partners have numerous officials tied to the PFLP terror groups, as has been documented by NGO Monitor. Demonstrating the severity of the UN, WHO, and government donors distributing funds to these groups is the fact that in August 2019, a number of NGO officials from these groups were, according to their indictments, involved in the murder of a 17-year-old Israeli girl and severely injuring her father and brother. These individuals are currently standing trial. The United Nations must immediately cease this financial support of terror-tied organizations in order to eliminate risk in its provision of COVID-19 related humanitarian aid.
The United Nations must immediately cease this financial support of terror-tied organizations in order to eliminate risk in its provision of COVID-19 related humanitarian aid.