The European Commission has today further expanded its Guidance Note on how COVID-19-related humanitarian aid can be provided to countries and areas around the world that are subject to EU restrictive measures (sanctions). A new chapter on counter-terrorism sanctions gives practical guidance on how to comply with EU sanctions when providing humanitarian aid, in particular medical assistance, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
It aims to facilitate the activities of humanitarian operators in those areas, and the channelling of equipment and assistance to fight the pandemic. This addition builds on the existing chapters on Syria, Iran, Venezuela and Nicaragua. EU sanctions help to achieve key EU objectives such as preserving peace, strengthening international security, and consolidating and supporting democracy, international law and human rights. They target those who endanger these values to reduce as much as possible any adverse consequences on the civilian population.
The EU has about 40 different sanctions regimes currently in place. Sanctions must also be applied in a way that takes into account the needs of humanitarian operators and the provision of humanitarian assistance and activities, including medical assistance. More information on sanctions is available here.