Future of aid work at risk in Iran due to US sanctions: Norwegian aid org.

TEHRAN, Aug. 09 (MNA) – The delivery of aid to Afghan refugees and flood victims in Iran is at risk because banks are refusing to transfer money to aid agencies due to fear of sanctions. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is calling on donor governments to enable humanitarian organisations to continue to reach vulnerable people in Iran.

“Humanitarian organisations are left hamstrung by politically motivated sanctions that now punish the poorest. We have now, for a full year, tried to find banks that are able and willing to transfer money from donors to support our work for Afghan refugees and disaster victims in Iran, but we are hitting brick walls on every side,” the official website of Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has quoted the Secretary-General of NRC Jan Egeland as saying.

The sanctions imposed by the US on Iran are so comprehensive that banks are unwilling to facilitate transfers for humanitarian work. If all bank channels are blocked, then so is the delivery of critical aid to people in need.

“Norwegian and other international banks are afraid of US sanctions to transfer the money that governments have given for our vital aid work,” Egeland explained.

According to the NRC report, more than three million Afghans, one of the world's largest refugee populations, are living in Iran, and some of them have been there for the past four decades.

The NRC report also said that the sanctions are also hampering the relief assistance to victims of earlier this years' floods in Iran, despite the US claims that their unjust sanctions are aimed at hurting the Iranian government.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is the largest of only five international NGOs working in Iran along with the UN. All aid organisations are impacted by the consequences of existing sanctions.

KI/PR

News Code 148667

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