Foreign aid lost in Syria
According to new research Syrian President, Bashar Assad’s government has used distorted exchange rates to divert at least $100 million in international aid to its coffers in the past two years.
The currency manipulation deprives Syrians, most of them impoverished after a decade of war, of much-needed funds. It also allows the Damascus government to circumvent sanctions enforced by Western countries that hold it responsible for most of the war’s atrocities.
“Western countries, despite sanctioning Syrian President Bashar Assad, have become one of the regime’s largest sources of hard currency,” said the report published this week by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based research organization that focuses on international public policy issues.