(Adds details from statement, Blinken quotes, background)
WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The United States is moving to ease the delivery of humanitarian assistance without running afoul of international sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday, implementing recently adopted United Nations exemptions.
The United Nations Security Council this month moved to exempt humanitarian assistance from international sanctions after aid groups cited concerns about how overcompliance with such measures was affecting their work.
While the Security Council has previously addressed such issues on a case-by-case basis, its Dec. 9 blanket exemption aims to protect aid activities for those working with the international body.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control took regulatory actions announced Tuesday “across a number of OFAC sanctions programs to ease the delivery of humanitarian aid,” it said on its website.
“The United States is committed to protecting humanitarian access and removing impediments – real and perceived – to the delivery of legitimate humanitarian aid around the world,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a separate statement. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu)