Tuesday, February 04, 2014

  • Tuesday, February 04, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Amer Kamal Ali Chinbari lives in the  UNRWA camp Beit Hanoun, in Gaza. He is a recipient of UNRWA's Relief and Social Services Plan, and as part of his benefits he gets free food. So Chinbari, along with hundreds of thousands of other family heads, gets a food ration card showing how many dependents he has so UNRWA can give him the proper amount of food.

Chinbari's ration card registration number is 1-00608901.

And, according to UNRWA records, Chinbari's family has 27 members.

Another Chinbari, named Fatmeh Mohad, has a family of 25 members. Mond Ulayan Chinbari has a household of 22, and Khaled Ibrahim Chinbari has 21. Antar has 16, Mohd and Ramadan have 15 each.

Those Chinbaris are really fertile, right?

UNRWA has a database of Gaza food ration registration cards online that, given not too much time, could be completely reproduced because of a pretty bad search algorithm. As it is, I easily took a sample of nearly 40,000 Gazan families representing over 220,000 people.

Within this sample I found 200 Chinbari households, virtually all living in Beit Hanoun, and 42 of them have household sizes of 10 of more. In total, over 1300 Chinbari family members are counted.

I find the Chinbari clan to be fascinating. Either they are scamming UNRWA, which seems likely, or they feel confident enough in UNRWA's services that they have no problem churning out lots and lots of kids despite their presumed poverty. Remember, food ration cards are only given to the poorest people.

27 kids is not out of the question if someone has four wives, but in Islam multiple wives are frowned upon if one doesn't have the means to support them. A successful scam that is being shared with family members seems more likely. (Not that there aren't other families with 25 or so members, but the Chinbaries are the only extended clan to have so many large families listed.)

Arabs have a history of inflating the number of members in their families for UNRWA ration cards that go back to the beginnings of UNRWA itself. The UNRWA reports in its first years note a flourishing trade in forged ration cards and mentions that deaths are never reported, but births are, so families can get more free food.

UNRWA, which was a somewhat worthwhile organization in the early 1950s, attempted to eliminate fraud and perform censuses on the Arab refugees - but they were stymied by the Arabs themselves, who refused to cooperate. That's one reason why, today, UNRWA counts of so-called refugees are wildly inflated.

Today, UNRWA is complicit in this population inflation. Even though a little seen UNRWA report estimated that some 200,000 Lebanese "refugees" left Lebanon long ago, UNRWA continues to count them to extort more money from the international community.

UNRWA today is doing to the world what the Chinbaris are evidently doing to UNRWA.

None of UNRWA's funders are calling for UNRWA to finally do a real census of the people they have been supporting for over 60 years, which is a fairly basic requirement for any social service agency  No one is mining the data in UNRWA's databases to find anomalies like I just found about the Chinbaris. UNRWA's donor countries happily give more and more without demanding the most basic auditing.

If I can uncover apparent fraud (or, at the very least, a red flag) in a few minutes without direct access to the database, imagine what anomalies a real auditor could find out about UNRWA with full access.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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