UNFPA’s statement on recent media stories about aid delivery in Syria

1 March 2018

UNFPA notes the recent news stories on possible sexual exploitation and abuse in the distribution of humanitarian aid inside Syria. UNFPA underscores that it has zero tolerance for any form of abuse or exploitation.

One of the strong tools of the humanitarian system in Syria to identify such abuse is the Voices publication, which has been produced for the last three years as a programming tool to determine needs and plan responses.  By bringing such information to the attention of the entire United Nations and other humanitarian actors, it helps to direct programming to tackle such issues as sexual exploitation and abuse. UNFPA does this as part of its mandate as the lead agency within the United Nations humanitarian system to combat all forms of gender-based violence. 

In its own programmes providing reproductive health and gender-based violence response services in southern Syria, UNFPA has put internal mechanisms in place to guard against sexual exploitation and abuse, including inspections of its programmes by independent outside monitors. UNFPA works only with two NGOs in southern Syria, and has not received any claims of abuse or exploitation.