Sanctions restrict the flow of medical supplies and items essential to treating the sick and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Urge your members of Congress to lift sanctions that negatively impact civilians and impair governments’ abilities to respond to this global health crisis.
Background: COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world, affecting countries on every continent. In heavily sanctioned countries such as Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the virus lays bare significant public health limitations worsened by years of limited access to medicines, medical supplies and equipment.
More than 6,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19 in Iran, and tens of thousands more are infected. Without immediate action to lift sanctions and permit governments to purchase medicines and other essential items, other sanctioned countries could see similar numbers of deaths, and cases could spread across borders to neighboring countries.
Faith reflection: We cannot claim to love the poor while supporting policies that cause them to suffer and die. James 2:15-16 says, “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”