Opinion | Bashar al-Assad just got Syria a seat on the board of the WHO


For Syria, the choice of regional directors for the eastern Mediterranean is key to insulating the Assad regime from accountability for its diversion of humanitarian assistance delivered by the WHO. At the height of the war, Assad’s forces regularly stripped medical aid from U.N. convoys headed for areas under rebel control, a violation of international humanitarian law. “Sterilization equipment [was] withheld, forcing surgeons to reuse surgical items without sterilization between operations,” wrote the physician and public health advocate Annie Sparrow. The WHO even spent millions subsidizing Ministry of Defense blood transfusion programs, despite Syrian forces’ record of atrocities.

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