"....The staff is sick and tired of the impunity extended by the office of the Secretary-General to senior managers for their failings especially in situations where it has led to death and disability....."
- UN Staff Union
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Syrian Drought Drags On, Rivers Polluted, Aid Funding Dries Up
DAMASCUS, Syria, March 8, 2010 (ENS) - Up to 60 percent of Syria's land and over one million people are gripped by the worst drought in 40 years, but a deep funding shortfall for emergency assistance has left the United Nations aid agencies at a loss.
The humanitarian arm of the United Nations is being forced to review its response plan for the Syrian population suffering under the three-year dry spell, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, warned today.
The ongoing drought in northeastern Syria has destroyed the agricultural livelihoods of more than one million people, driving hundreds of thousands to urban areas where they face difficult living conditions, according to OCHA.
UN assistance has centered on providing a food aid and agricultural packages to farmers and herders in a bid to keep them on their land and re-start agricultural work, particularly with the promise of rainfall during the winter months. But little rain has fallen.
Syrian families face a harsh existence in the drought-stricken northeast. (Photo courtesy UN)
The UN's $43.6 million drought response plan is intended to complement government efforts already in place, but only 29 percent of this funding was in place at the end of February.
In addition, food prices have risen at a rate that has outstripped household incomes and the purchasing power of the general population, especially in the drought-stricken areas.
In January, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg met in Cairo with representatives of the League of Arab States. She asked the League to take a "proactive role in promoting international humanitarian coordination and funding for the various humanitarian appeals and response plans in the region."
Meanwhile, vegetable and fruit growers in dry northern Syria are using polluted river water to irrigate their crops, causing outbreaks of food poisoning among consumers, say environmental and medical experts.
The experts say the problem stems from sewage and chemicals being allowed to reach rivers in rural areas near Aleppo, Latakia and Rakka.
Studies carried out by the High Centre for Environmental Research, at the public Tishreen University in Latakia, have shown since 2007 that the Sanawbar river running through this coastal part of Syria was contaminated and therefore unsuitable for irrigation.
Soil samples taken from areas near the river where vegetables are grown proved to contain significant levels of contaminants and bacteria like salmonella, which are characteristic of polluted water, said Amina Nasser, an expert at the environmental research centre.
Other tests have shown that the Quweik river in Aleppo and tributaries of the Euphrates in the Rakka area also contained high levels of pollutants because garbage is regularly dumped nearby and industrial waste and sewage are poured into them.
Some experts say that the consumption of crops grown near the rivers, like lettuce, parsley, and spinach, which are sold on local markets and eaten raw, has been the cause of much of the food poisoning reported in the region.
But the effect on human beings of contaminants could be more dangerous and appear many years later, Ahmad Ibrahim said, the head of the chronic disease department at the health directorate in Aleppo.
Fruit and vegetable merchant at a market in Aleppo, Syria.(Photo by Luigi Rinaldi)
He added that consuming contaminated crops could eventually lead to chronic rashes, inflammatory diseases or even cancer.
Meanwhile, farmers say that they know river water is polluted but they have no other way to irrigate their crops.
"I hear that this water is polluted but nobody has prevented me from using it, so I continue to water my crops with it," said Abu Jaafar, a grower from Basa, near Latakia, who cultivates oranges and vegetables.
The authorities stress that they send regular patrols to areas near polluted water sources and garbage dumps to make sure that no crops are grown in these locations.
An official at the environmental directorate of Latakia said that the number of crops grown in polluted areas has fallen significantly since 2005. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said illegally grown crops are regularly destroyed.
However, Hassan Baddour, an agriculture ministry official in Latakia, said there is no evidence that water pollution was affecting crops, "We don't have any data that proves that these products are polluted. We don't have specialised laboratories to test this kind of products."
Fruits and vegetables for sale at Latakia's main market (Photo by Joti Brar)
On the other hand, environmental experts insist that Syrian rivers are polluted mainly by factories that continue to spew industrial waste in rivers without proper treatment in breach of regulations.
Nasser from the environmental research centre in Latakia said that river pollution is directly caused by the spillage of sewage and chemical waste. She said that to make matters worse, pollution is highest in September, which is when farmers often irrigate their crops.
Official data show that in the Quweik river flowing through Aleppo, concentrations of ammonia, heavy metals and other contaminants exceeded allowable limits because of discharge from sewers and industry.
According to the environment directorate of Aleppo, about 200 stone cutting mills and 90 tanneries in the area spill waste into the river that contains dangerously high levels of heavy metals like chromium and lead.
Untreated sewage also flows into the river because the capacity of sewage treatment plants is insufficient, said an official at the environment ministry in Aleppo.
Uwe Troeger, a German environmental expert, said during a conference on the environment in Aleppo in December that Syria lacks adequate treatment plants for sewage capable of generating water suitable for irrigation.
He said Syria could make better use of its available water resources by investing in clean technologies.
Water management faces many hurdles in Syria because of increasing pressure on water resources and dependency on neighboring countries for the flow of water in the rivers, experts say.
637 UNDP Staffers are Millionaires, and another 1041 UNDP staffers have enough salary (income) to justify million dollar homes in New York (or tri-state area NY/NJ/CT).
UN/UNDP's budgets are untransparent !
U.N. budget is “utterly opaque, untransparent and completely in the shadow” and would benefit from being consolidated and audited from the outside. MMB from NyTimes
JOSE RAMOS HORTA - PRESIDENT OF EAST TIMOR
‘‘You know how many layers of bureaucracy there are when the European Union wants to help East Timor? Well, they don’t provide the funds to us, the funds allocated are managed by world bank. And the world bank has its own layers of bureaucracy. And they charge for that. The project is then managed by UNDP. But UNDP is only good at doing studies, they don’t execute projects.’‘
Boutros Boutros-Ghali on UN:
"perhaps half of the UN work force does nothing useful"
Can Helen Clark be trusted on Climate Change ?
President Obama's answer to Helen Clark's appeal for US to do more on climate change was : "I think the American people right now have been so focused, and will continue to be focused, on our economy and jobs and growth that ... if the message is somehow, we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don't think anybody's gonna go for that," he said. "I won't go for that."
In 2011 Rami Makhlouf - a trusted development partner of UNDP in Syria
In 2008 U.S. Treasury designation: Rami Makhluf Designated for Benefiting from Syrian Corruption (Click on photo to see US Treasury page)
"Screwed" How Foreign Countries Are Ripping America Off
A full chapter (7) dedicated to UNDP and UN Secretariat. But it today at Amazon.com (click above picture)
Asma al-Assad is UNDP's champion of reform in Syria
UNDP's special relations with dictators and terror is well documented. Yet, they continue to operate covered by UN Immunity. Click on immage for story.
Aicha Gaddafi You are Fired !
UNDP continues to be in bed with other dictators. Will clean it one at a time.
Where is NETAID money David Morrison?
UNDP Transparency Censored
UNDP's moto is: - eliminate the uncomfortable, frighten those who disagree, "educate" the perplexed..
UNDP Chief Finance Officer
The UNDP is a secretive organization and so far has kept in the dark every information related to its Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Assistant Administrator, Mr. Darshak Shah. Click on the picture for more on Finance Office of UNDP.
UNDP Belarus - best breast corner
Should tax-payers dollars be used to photograph beautiful breasts - even when making a valid point?
Uncle Helen turning UNDP into a cove of corrupt NZ labour politicians
CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE Chris Carter's latest Credit Card scandal - can he work at UNDP after that? It seems YES he is full tested!!
Helen Clark says: "No more cars"
Thinking about buying a new car this year? Why, you evil Westerner! You don’t need that. You are demanding your new car off the sweat, toil, and exploitation of the world’s poorest people in developing countries.
Eveline Herfkens belongs to Jail - she should return imemdiately Dutch Taxpayers money.
if anyone else would have done what Eveline Herfkens did, would have long been in jail. We denounce this impunity and demand justice.
Andrew Mitchell - says Helen Clark is up to no good!
1. UNDP’s partnership with the World Bank needs to be more effective, particularly in fragile and crisis-affected countries. 2. UNDP’s near universal mandate means its technical resources are spread very thinly. The Board does not provide strategic direction. HR management is weak. It has a weak results chain. 3. There is limited evidence of active senior management consideration of cost control. Country evidence points to mixed progress on demonstrating cost-efficiency. 4. The Executive Board is politicised and there is a lack of consensus on the key areas for reform. It is not clear that current plans for change will deliver the required depth and breadth of reform. 5. Evidence gathered at country level was highly critical of UNDP’s ability to deliver results. Its delivery can be undermined by staffing issues and bureaucratic processes. 6. Its performance in fragile states is mixed. It has reasonable training and a range of guidance and analytical tools but struggles to fill posts. 7. There is no evidence that the Climate Strategy was directly guiding resource allocation decisions
Mark Malloch Brown outraged over Aicha Gaddafi
“I hope she's not a UNDP Ambassador,” ...“I don't think it's UNDP. I was surprised when I saw that... she was an Ambassador to any part of the UN system.”
Travel Palestine - Rediscover Your Senses
Get ready to a sensual feast of ...sounds...scents of The Land of حماس Ḥamās Documentary sponsored by UNDP Funds (click on picture for video)
Helen Clark on UNDP's own corruption (Can she be trusted?)
“When funds intended for life-saving treatment and prevention are stolen, that theft is tantamount to murder.” CLICK ON PICTURE FOR MORE
Scandal in Rwanda with Human Development Report
Aurelien Agbenonci, UNDP's RR in Kigali accuses Khalid Malik of making up data without UNDP Rwanda's knowledge. Rwanda Government is unhappy !!!
H.E. Dirk Niebel - German Development Minister
"I take the accusations made in the media concerning corruption and breach of fiduciary duty at the Global Fund very seriously and I am sure that the Fund will clarify the matter without delay. Germany is one of the biggest donors to the Global Fund. I have therefore seen to it that a special review will be held. I have frozen all further disbursements to the Fund until matters have been fully clarified, and I will ask a representative of the Fund to come to the BMZ to discuss the matter."
US Amb. Joseph Torsella blows the whistle on UN budgets
U.N. Secretariat’s proposed $5.2 “regular” budget for 2012-2013, was “simply loosening our belt a little less than we originally planned.”
The U.N. Exposed
How the United Nations Sabotages America's Security and Fails the World (Click in picture to purchase the book)
Share now information about illegal dealings at United Nations
If you are in possession of UNDP or any other United Nations Agency' contracts, correspondence, financial records or databases, which you believe detail wrongdoing such as fraud, mismanagement and abuse of authority, and you have failed to have UN's internal control, oversight and justice systems respond and/or react to your claims, you can send them to UNDP-WATCH and we will make them public keeping your identity anonymous and confidential.
Send an email to: email@example.com
Helen Clark is watching you!
Gaddafi aint got nothing on UNDP - Click on the picture for more!
Malakia: A Turk advises Greece on Economy
Kemal Dervis (Turkish) and George Papandreou (Greek) share many late-night phone calls together (Click on picture to read story)
Where does Ban stand on Libya?
C'est vraiment ce que tu veux pour ta carriere?
United Nations Dispute Tribunal finds Ethics Office decisions Appealable
Because UNDT is the first level of the UN’s two-tiered justice system, there is a possibility that this decision may be appealed. Hopefully, the Secretary-General will not be “absurd” enough to do so. Click above to go to GAP page.
Andrew Mitchell Demands Transparency from United Nations
And I promise you as well that in future, when it comes to international development, we will want to see hard evidence of the impact your money makes. Not just dense and impenetrable budget lines but clear evidence of real effect
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT UNITED NATIONS
Ban Ki Moon supports Ethics Decision on UNDP North Korea
Question: He recommends strongly that UNDP pays 14 months back pay to the whistleblower. Does the Secretary-General stand behind that recommendation? Should UNDP in fact pay that money, or are they free to rebuff that recommendation? Spokesperson: We will see what is going to happen. The Secretary-General of course is behind Mr. Benson on his report. There is no doubt about it. What UNDP will do, we will be seeing this; how they will implement that report.
UNDP Watch is a grouping of United Nations Staff committed to openness. We believe that everyone has the right to access information held by United Nations.
Despite a stated commitment to openness, UNDP remain a highly secretive agency.
Although a wealth of information is available on some UNDP websites, its Executive Board operate behind closed doors, much important programme and administrative information is never made available and, as a rule, information that is disclosed is provided only after relevant decisions have effectively been taken.
While UNDP has adopted “internal policies” on information disclosure, they in fact operate on precisely the opposite presumption. For the most part, they list which documents will be disclosed and when, and there is a presumption against the disclosure of all the other information they hold. They do not establish right of access, the lists of documents subject to disclosure is limited, they do not set out clear and narrow grounds for refusing access and they do not provide for independent oversight mechanisms to ensure proper implementation of the policy.
The UNDP WATCH is calling for the complete overhaul of these policies.
"...We believe that without accountability, there is impunity. We ask that you (Secretary General) not be complicit in cover-up of what happened prior to 11 Dec attack. The staff is sick and tired of the impunity extended by the office of the Secretary-General to senior managers for their failings especially in situations where it has led to death and disability."