Sanctions & Syria, redlines on early recovery and lack of funding

Under Chatham House rules - on invitation only -

Sanctions, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulations, as well as donors’ redlines on early recovery programs and humanitarian aid have a persisting negative impact on humanitarian operations in Syria. This compounds the tremendous pain to people in Syria suffering from war and natural disaster. 

This working session is a follow up to a working session in October 2023, initiated by Mohammad Kanfash and KUNO (The Platform for Humanitarian Knowledge Exchange in the Netherlands), where researchers and representatives of international and local NGOs active in Syria, made an inventory of impact of sanctions, AML/CFT regulations, and donors’ redlines on humanitarian aid. In this follow up session Mohammad Kanfash and KUNO would to discuss the findings and concerns of local and international NGOs with representatives of donors and other stakeholders. We will focus on political dimensions (another working session will focus on financial aspects).

Politics: Redlines on early recovery and lack of funding.

Sub-topics that can be discussed:

  • How can donors better contribute to a resilient early recovery response in Syria?  
  • How can we improve donors and multi-stakeholder dialogue on early recovery response in Syria and related redlines? 
  • How can we use a more systematic monitoring of and reporting on the impact of donors’ redlines? 
  • To what extent are sanctions and donors’ redlines consistent with international law when they generate negative impact?


  • Mohammad Kanfash, researcher at Utrecht University’s School of Law and Centre for Conflict Studies, Founder of Damaan Humanitarian Organization.
  • Dr. Joseph Daher, visiting Professor at the European University Institute at European University Institute.
  • Fulco van Deventer, Human Security Collective.

Other participants that will be invited: Netherlands MFA, DG ECHO, NGOs active in Syria (internatio-nal and local), the KUNO-members, European humanitarian think tanks (e.g. CHA, HERE, ODI, URD Groupe).


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