The European Commission released a guide on Tuesday to help humanitarian actors carry out their activities in Syria in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic without sanctions being imposed by the EU.
In this way, Brussels is taking a further step in its policy of promoting the work of organizations, financial institutions and other actors that do humanitarian work in third countries so that European cooperation is not affected by sanctions in times of the corona virus. against certain regimes. As reported, this guide will be followed by similar instructions for Yemen, Somalia or North Korea.
The main doubts concern the export and payment of medicines, protective equipment and medical equipment in countries that are subject to EU sanctions. “The pandemic knows no borders, only together we can protect the most vulnerable communities. Humanitarian aid can reach those who need them with the current sanctions,” said Vice President of the Economy Valdis Dombrovskis, adding that Brussels will do so ” Everything in your power “to respond to problems encountered by humanitarian workers.
On his side, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, stressed that sanctions should not prevent essential equipment and supplies from being delivered to the areas most needed during the pandemic. “The sanctions provide for humanitarian exemptions. This is in line with international law,” he emphasized, working to ensure that aid arrives successfully and does not harm the people who are already in a difficult situation. .
Crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic believes it is important to be clear about how to deal with the humanitarian challenges exacerbated by the pandemic in countries like Syria. “Sanctions should not hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid, including medical aid,” he said.