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On Syria, WFP & FAO Say Sanctions Ban Vaccines, Russia on Rebels' Chemical Weapons

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 9 -- The World Food Program released a detailed study about Syria on July 5 along with the Food and Agriculture Organization; it said “Vaccines are in short supply and sanctions prohibit imports.”

  On Tuesday Inner City Press asked WFP's Emergency Coordinator for Syria Muhannad Hadi about that line in the two UN agencies' report, given the claim that sanctions are not impacting items like vaccines.

  Hadi said “I can't talk about sanctions.” He did however say that harvests are down 40%. He described WFP workers trying repeatedly to get into conflict zones, adding that it doesn't matter to WFP who is doing the shooting that stops their entry.

Inner City Press asked about the seige of Aleppo, which even opposition supporters acknowledge is a rebel tactic to try to cut off Army supply lines. Hadi replied that WFP pre-positioned food in Aleppo. But how long will it last?

Hadi seemed genuinely knowledgeable about Syria. But if the UN can talk about sanctions and the impact in a joint report, why can't it explain what the line means, in person?

Just before Hadi's briefing about Syria, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the press he'd given an 80 page submission about rebel use of chemical weapons in Khan al Asal.

Inner City Press asked Churkin if the submission jibed with the contemporaneous filming of Russia state television reporter Anastasia Popova, then asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if 80 pages was the most detailed submission yet. This, he wouldn't answer. Nor did he take questions about the Central African Republic, which he'd mentioned in his opening, or Haiti. Watch this site.


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