The Lawfare Podcast


A New Sanctions Approach for Humanitarian Assistance

For years, the international community has wrestled with how to reconcile sanctions policies targeting terrorist groups and other malevolent actors with the need to provide humanitarian assistance in areas under those groups’ control. Late last year, both the Biden administration and the UN Security Council took major steps toward a new approach on this issue, installing broad carveouts for humanitarian assistance into existing sanctions regimes. 

To talk through these changes, Lawfare Senior Editor Scott R. Anderson sat down with two leading sanctions experts: Rachel Alpert, a Partner at the law firm Jenner & Block and former State Department attorney, and Alex Zerden, the Founder and Principal of Capitol Peak Strategies and a former Treasury Department official, including at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. They talked about the long-standing issues surrounding humanitarian assistance, what these changes may mean in jurisdictions like Afghanistan, and where more changes may yet be forthcoming. 

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