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Jan 2, 2023

Assad Is Still Stiffing the UN on the Exchange Rate

The gap between the black market exchange rate and the rate imposed on the UN has rarely been this wide. The exchange rate differential is one of Assad’s many ways of stealing and diverting predominantly Western humanitarian aid.

To reflect the recent depreciation of the Syrian pound in the black market, the Central Bank revised the exchange rate applied to remittances two days ago. Still, it kept the rate applied to UN agencies unchanged. The exchange rate imposed on the UN is now only 46% of that prevailing in the market.

In this analytical article from 2021, we explained how the Assad regime siphons off tens of millions of dollars in aid through the exchange rate differential. The UN in Damascus should renegotiate the exchange rate ASAP. Donor states should limit their cash assistance programs unless the regime agrees to minimize the differential. Millions of Syrians need aid more than anything else.

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