Legs and Regs

US Treasury Voices Commitment to Flow of Humanitarian Aid in Face of COVID-19 Pandemic


The U.S. Treasury Department announced its commitment to ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid around the world to support countries suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the delivery of medical supplies and humanitarian assistance to Iran, Venezuela, Syria and North Korea.

The Treasury underlined that it seeks to simultaneously support the critical work of governments, international organizations, nonprofit groups and individuals delivering supplies and humanitarian assistance to areas affected by COVID-19, while also mitigating the potential for this assistance to be diverted or misused by terrorists and other illicit actors.

Specifically, the Treasury noted that while the vast majority of U.S.-based nonprofit organizations are at low risk for terrorist financing, humanitarian organizations delivering assistance to conflict regions face a potentially higher risks. These risks include potential aid diversion in support of terrorist financing, corruption, or other illicit purposes.

The Treasury noted that a reputable and legitimate nonprofit organization will have implemented a range of risk-mitigation measures, including due diligence, governance, transparency, accountability, and other compliance measures. The Treasury encouraged the implementation of risk-based anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing measures to allow transparent and legitimate aid organizations to access financial services.

Additionally, the Treasury outlined that the Office of Foreign Assets Control maintains broad exemptions and authorizations across its sanctions programs that are designed to ensure that U.S. sanctions do not hamper the transfer and delivery of humanitarian aid.  In addition to the transactions already exempted from sanctions, OFAC maintains policies in multiple sanctions programs on granting specific licenses to support the provision of humanitarian assistance and the export of medicine and medical devices by U.S. persons.

Topics : Sanctions
Source: U.S.: Department of Treasury
Document Type: Press Release
Document Date: April 9, 2020