The European Union announced that, in light of the severity of the humanitarian crisis due to the earthquake, it had decided to ease punitive measures against Syria to allow aid organizations to quickly deliver aid without applying for six months.

Last Thursday (February 23, 2023), the European Union announced a temporary easing of the sanctions imposed on Syria in order to facilitate the delivery of aid to this country affected by the February 6th earthquake.

The European Council said in a statement that humanitarian organizations won’t require to wait for six months, until obtaining prior permission from EU member states to send materials or provide services to entities subject to the bloc’s sanctions.

This measure came in view of the seriousness of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, which was exacerbated by the earthquake, according to the statement.

The earthquake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, killed 43,000 people in Türkiye and more than 3,600 in Syria.

The European Union indicated that it and its member states are the main donors to Syria, and total donations have reached 27.4 billion Euros to the country and neighboring countries hosting refugees, such as Türkiye, since 2011.

After the earthquake, the European Union provided 3.5 million Euros to contribute to urgent humanitarian needs in Syria.

The EU sanctions imposed in 2011 target 291 individuals and 70 entities and include asset freezes and travel bans.

The change that was made on Thursday means that the European Union has exempted humanitarian organizations from seeking prior authorization from member states to conduct transfers or supplies of goods and services intended for humanitarian purposes to persons and entities on the list, according to the EU statement.

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