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New U.N. resolution offers legal protection for humanitarian aid provided in sanctioned regimes

Proponents said its passage is critical with 339 million people in need of humanitarian aid and nearly 50 million people on the verge of famine worldwide.

Humanitarian groups praised the passage of new protections for their work in U.N.-sanctioned regimes
Humanitarian groups praised the passage of new protections for their work in U.N.-sanctioned regimes (AN/Mahmoud Sulaiman/Unsplash)

Humanitarian organizations gained an important new tool with the passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution that creates a standing exemption to the U.N.'s asset freeze measures.

The 15-nation council on Friday approved the resolution, co-drafted by Ireland and the United States, in a 14-0 vote from which India abstained on the grounds that terrorist groups might be able to misuse it to raise funds and recruit fighters.

The resolution says humanitarian funds, goods and services do not violate U.N. asset freezes in sanctioned regimes. It specifically includes al-Qaida and Islamic State militant extremists, but only for two years before an extension can be made.

Humanitarian aid providers, however, must make "reasonable efforts to minimize the accrual of any benefits" that sanctioned people or entities might gain from this resolution's "humanitarian carve-out," according to U.N. officials.

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