It is time for the UN to shame countries that failed to live up to their promise to Syrians: paper

DUBAI: Let the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) – which is tasked with ensuring that millions of Syrian refugees do not starve, and has finally given up on its mission and on the international community- name those who haven’t fulfilled their pledge, demanded a UAE newspaper on Thursday adding that it is “truly bizarre” that the UN would continue to maintain silence, knowing well that shaming those states may be its last option to save the refugees from going hungry.

“It is time for the UN to shame countries that have failed to live up to their promise to Syrians,” said the Gulf News in an editorial comment on WFP’s recent announcement that it does not have the funds to give out vouchers for the dispersed Syrians to buy food in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt and that they face the risk of going hungry this winter.

It is a shame, the paper remarked, that some states attend donor conferences and make bombastic claims of support that serve public relations purposes more than philanthropic ones. It is a bigger tragedy that some of the wealthiest states in the world, those who claim to have a vested interest in the region, only pledge symbolic sums.

“It is perhaps time for the UN to enact a long-term strategy to deal with Syrian refugees. It is clear that the refugees will not be going home any time soon. The UN cannot afford to go to states hat-in-hand every year.” The WFP has subtly attributed the potential disaster to donor shortcomings, choosing not to name any of the pledge-violating states, the paper noted, adding that it must be asked, however, whether one can afford such diplomacy when millions of people face the prospect of starvation during the cold months ahead.