ACT Alliance follows the ICRC Code of Conduct, which states that “the humanitarian imperative comes first, that the right to receive and offer humanitarian assistance is a fundamental humanitarian principle that all citizens of all countries must enjoy. Providing humanitarian aid, it is not a partisan or political act and should not be seen as such.” In this sense, ACT supports the public declaration made for our member Church World Service, CWS, a cooperative effort of 37 member communions in the U.S., representing millions of persons around the globe to call for the immediate and full lifting of those U.S. sanctions that increase the difficulty for nations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and other countries:
CWS, a global humanitarian agency with programs in development, humanitarian aid, and refugee assistance adds its voice to the increasing number of U.S. humanitarian and religious organizations calling an immediate lifting of those U.S. sanctions that increase the difficulty for countries to protect their populations from the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent further global transmissions.
Such sanctioned countries include Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and other nations impacted by the Coronavirus and currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in coordination and communication with the World Health Organization.
Our call is inspired by our Christian faith and CWS´ adherence to the humanitarian imperative to save lives and advance human dignity.
Timing is critical. The urgency to act intensifies each day, and every life that can be saved must be saved. All persons matter equally to God, whether American, Iranian or Venezuelan. While the United States government has serious differences with the governments of sanctioned countries, their people are not our enemies.
Both moral imperative and the U.S.´s enlightened self-interest urge immediate action to lift – at least temporarily – these sanctions.
Accordingly, we urge the immediate lifting of those U.S. sanctions that increase the difficulty for Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and other countries to protect their populations from the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent further global transmissions.
In addition, ACT member the Cuban Council of Churches joined with the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA to issue a joint statement calling for the lifting of sanctions against Cuba, which can be read here.