Video On Demand

Impact of U.S. Sanctions on Aid Delivery in Afghanistan

September 2, 2021 • 12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT

Available Downloads

Even before the recent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, 50 percent of the population was dependent on international assistance to address the effects of forced displacement, drought, food insecurity, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by civilian casualties as the Taliban now controls most of Afghanistan and acts as the de-facto government.   

The United States must urgently take action to address the operational impact of sanctions and other restrictive measures on NGOs. In Afghanistan, as in other contexts with the presence of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), NGOs face significant uncertainty, complexity, and legal risks as they attempt to continue their urgently needed humanitarian programming. Prohibitions on financial engagement with SDGTs, lack of clarity as to whom specifically the Taliban includes, and the reluctance of financial institutions and remitters to transfer funds into such an uncertain environment represent some of the serious challenges NGOs face.  Donor agencies and their implementing partners need legal protection and clarity in order to negotiate access and provide essential services to millions of Afghans who rely on international humanitarian support. 

Please join the CSIS Humanitarian Agenda for a discussion on the regulatory and legal challenges to humanitarian assistance and solutions to allow for safe and unimpeded humanitarian assistance to civilians in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Additional speaker may be announced.


This event was made possible through the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Jacob Kurtzer
Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Humanitarian Agenda

Sue Eckert

Senior Associate, CSIS Humanitarian Agenda

Adam Smith

Partner, Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher LLP

Basma Alloush

Policy and Advocacy Advisor, Norwegian Refugee Council