On Friday, December 9th, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2664, implementing a safeguard for humanitarian relief across all UN sanction regimes. The resolution comes at a time when 222 million people in 53 countries are in need of humanitarian assistance, and is a welcome step in enabling aid actors to deliver support quickly and effectively. 

  Sanctions, while primarily used as a tool in international efforts towards peace and security, can often have unintended effects that hinder the prompt delivery of humanitarian assistance when emergencies occur in sanctioned countries. NGOs and other international humanitarian actors remain committed to rigorous due diligence processes, and this resolution will allow such actors to respond more effectively. 

 “Steps like this towards safeguarding humanitarian aid are more important now than ever” said SAMS President, Dr. Amjad Rass. “The simple fact of the matter is that the civilian population is not responsible for the actions of its government, nor those of non-state groups, and has a right to timely, principled aid. We applaud the passing of UN Security Council Resolution 2664, and thank the United States and Ireland for their leadership.” 

We at SAMS celebrate what we believe will be a step forward in humanitarian access thanks to this resolution. We encourage Member States to undertake the essential effort of establishing their own domestic safeguards for humanitarian assistance to support and further this UN-led effort.