|Author (Person)||Ramírez, Enrique Gómez, Russell, Martin|
|Author (Corporate)||European Parliament: European Parliamentary Research Service|
|Publisher||European Parliament: European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), European Union|
|Series Title||EPRS Briefings|
|Series Details||PE 651.924|
|Publication Date||May 2020|
|Content Type||Research Paper|
The coronavirus pandemic has raised concerns that international sanctions may be exacerbating the risk of a humanitarian crisis. In March 2020, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on world leaders to waive restrictions on food and medicines that are affecting the world's most vulnerable countries.
Especially since the suffering caused by the international trade embargo against Iraq in the 1990s, the European Union has sought to design its sanctions for maximum effect at the least possible humanitarian cost. Usually it does this by targeting restrictions at key individuals or organisations, and in some cases sectors, rather than a country's economy as a whole. Critics of sanctions claim that US-imposed trade restrictions have prevented Iran from purchasing essential medical supplies needed to fight the pandemic. They also argue that EU and US sanctions make desperately impoverished Zimbabwe and Sudan even more vulnerable than they would otherwise be. Both the European Union and the United States defend their policies, but acknowledge the importance of humanitarian exceptions. Although the European Union has not said that it will lift any of its restrictive measures, it has offered various forms of support to several sanctions-hit countries.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Subject Tags||Foreign Policy Instruments|
|Keywords||Sanctions | Restrictive Measures
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|