United Nations, Aug 8 - The unilateral economic sanctions imposed on countries such as Cuba and Venezuela today cause greater suffering and limitations during the Covid-19 pandemic, warned independent UN rapporteurs.
According to a report by five UN experts, humanitarian exemptions to sanctions are not working and the population cannot adequately protect itself against the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus or obtain adequate treatments.
"Sanctions imposed in the name of defending human rights are, in fact, killing people and depriving them of fundamental rights, such as the right to health, food and life itself," the report states.
Basic supplies such as water, soap and electricity that urgently need in hospitals, fuel for the delivery of vital goods and food are scarce due to sanctions in countries such as Iran, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, among others subjected to unilateral coercive measures, adds the text.
The UN Rapporteur on the impact of unilateral coercive measures, Alena Douhan, called for the unilateral coercive measures to be lifted or at least softened to facilitate access to basic necessities, such as hygiene items and medical equipment.
She also stressed that since the call to lift those sanctions made in April, nothing has actually improved and the sanctions continue to prevent many States from adequately fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UN rapporteurs assured that the procedures to obtain humanitarian exemptions to sanctions are expensive and time-consuming, which is why they ask that permits be granted immediately.
Ending the sanctions would allow access to medicines, food and fuel, so necessary in the midst of the crisis generated by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, experts say.
Governments such as Cuba and Venezuela denounce that, since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States authorities have intensified sanctions and blockades and instead of easing unilateral coercive measures they have prevented the arrival of medical supplies and basic items. (Text and photo: PL)