Sanctions: Commission further expands Guidance on COVID-19-related humanitarian aid in sanctioned environments

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission 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). This Guidance now also has a self-standing chapter on Nicaragua.

The aim is to give practical guidance on how to comply with EU sanctions when providing humanitarian aid, in particular medical assistance, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guidance clarifies the responsibilities and the processes for the provision of this aid in order to facilitate activities of humanitarian operators in Nicaragua, and the channelling of equipment and assistance to fight the pandemic.

The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge that requires global unity, cooperation, solidarity and compassion. While no country is spared, complex political or economic situations and ongoing conflicts in certain areas of the world add to the devastating effects that the pandemic has on the population in those countries.

This Guidance builds on the previous chapters of the Note, which cover Syria (published in May 2020), Iran and Venezuela (published in October 2020).

For more information on the Guidance Note

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. EU sanctions are targeted at those whose actions endanger these values, in order to reduce as much as possible any adverse consequences on the civilian population. The EU has about 40 different sanctions regimes currently in place.

Compliance by the EU with relevant international obligations and its policy of targeted measures underpin a system of exceptions that also aims to ensure that sanctions are applied in a way that takes into account the needs of humanitarian operators. These can include the provision of humanitarian assistance and humanitarian activities, including medical assistance. Depending on the transactions and the restrictions existing in each case, humanitarian operators may need to request a prior authorisation in order to export certain goods to countries subject to sanctions. Such authorisations are granted by the competent authorities in each Member State.

Today’s Guidance Note addresses a number of questions received by the Commission from donors, NGOs, banks and other actors involved in humanitarian activities, and from national authorities. Questions refer to exports of, and payments for protective gear, medicines, medical equipment, or the provision of medical assistance to the population in need in areas subject to EU sanctions. The note is addressed to all actors involved in the supply of humanitarian aid, such as the competent authorities of EU Member States, which manage the implementation of EU sanctions, and public and private operators (donors, NGOs, banks and other actors involved in humanitarian activities), which must comply with EU sanctions when providing assistance.

The Commission is also working closely with Member States to ensure that in the current context national procedures are transparent and easily accessible for humanitarian operators from the whole EU.

Members of the College said:

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President for a Stronger Europe in the World, said: “EU sanctions play a crucial role in targeting those responsible for breaches of international law, human rights abuses, flow of arms into war zones, and spoilers of peace processes. But, above all, they are designed to protect the most vulnerable. EU sanctions are fully in line with international law and allow for exceptions, so that humanitarian assistance can reach those most in need. Today’s Guidance Note provides the necessary guidance to humanitarian operators in these challenging times.”

Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact globally, especially amongst vulnerable communities and this requires a coordinated response. I believe that today’s guidance note will help support and facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid to Nicaragua despite the sanctions that are currently in place. It is vital that aid continues to flow to where it is needed.”

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, has also previously stated: “Sanctions should not impede the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, in line with International Humanitarian Law. Providing clarity is a step forward to addressing the many challenges humanitarian organisations face to deliver assistance on the ground, in such challenging contexts.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

From the Field: Women push for peace

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

As children in Ebola-affected areas of DR Congo head back to school, UNICEF ramps up support

Human rights breaches in Azerbaijan and Sudan

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘End the Cage Age’ initiative

New malaria vaccine trial in Malawi marks ‘an innovation milestone’, declares UN health agency

UN chief hopes for new agreement after Israel concludes international observation mission

UN chief urges top digital tech panel to come up with ‘bold, innovative ideas’ for an ‘inclusive’ future

Coronavirus: The truth against the myths

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

Mental health in the COVID-19 pandemic

Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka fear for their safety, in wake of Easter Sunday terror attacks

These 8 countries have perfect scores for women’s rights at work

Some 300,000 Venezuelan children in Colombia need humanitarian assistance; UNICEF looks to boost response funding

Yemen war: UN-backed talks to silence the guns due to begin in Stockholm

Why embracing human rights will ensure Artificial Intelligence works for all

4 ways digitisation can unlock Africa’s recovery

European Commission reacts to the US restrictions on steel and aluminium affecting the EU

This is how we can empower 8 billion minds by 2030

World Health Organisation and young doctors: is there any place for improvement?

This is why people live, work and stay in a growing city

A Sting Exclusive: “Technology for all, development for all: the role of ITU”, written by the Secretary General of the United Nations Agency

Τhe EU Refugee Crisis: a day in the life of a Refugee in Greece

EU budget agreement rejected by the European Parliament

Global Compact on Refugees: How is this different from the migrants’ pact and how will it help?

EU–Canada Summit: strengthening the rules-based international order

Africa’s future is innovation rather than industrialization

Living in the mouth of the shark: we are all refugees

Trump systematically upsets global order and trade: Where does this end?

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

Two-thirds of global drug deaths now from opioids: UN drugs report

Global aid appeal targets more than 93 million most in need next year

Health services for Syrian women caught up in war, foster safety and hope: UNFPA

How to push out of our comfort zones – an extract

Climate change: ‘A moral, ethical and economic imperative’ to slow global warming say UN leaders, calling for more action

Subsidiarity and Proportionality: Task Force presents recommendations on a new way of working to President Juncker

How Costa Rica’s environment minister talks to his daughter about climate change

Trump rejects Europe’s offer for zero car tariffs; he had personally tabled that idea in July

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for a cyber-bulletproof EU”, by EU Vice-President Ansip

Ukraine turns again to the EU for more money

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Stop Finning – Stop the trade’ initiative

‘Eden bonds’: how rewilding could save the climate and your pension

OECD tells Eurozone to prepare its banks for a tsunami coming from developing countries

What if the doctor become a patient?

What’s going on in Chernobyl today?

Tackling ‘deeply worrying’ global rise in anti-Semitism is a job for all societies everywhere, says UN chief

These are the world’s least – and most – corrupt countries

Time to measure up: 5 ways the fashion industry can be made more sustainable

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

Belgium eases lockdown with free train tickets for every citizen

Trade Barriers Report: EU continues to open up markets outside Europe in midst of rising protectionism

One-third of young people still optimistic despite COVID’s dramatic hit on education and jobs

Customs Union: New Action Plan to further support EU customs in their vital role of protecting EU revenues, prosperity and security

5 things you probably didn’t know about global health

How video games can reunite a divided world

Managing and resolving conflicts in a politically inclined group of team members

Sri Lankan authorities must work ‘vigorously’ to ease simmering ethno-religious tensions, urges UN rights expert

COP25: Support business efforts to tackle climate change, urges Guterres

Cohesion Policy after 2020: preparing the future of EU investments in health

Time to act together: Von der Leyen at the European Parliament July plenary

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s