How Heavily Sanctioned Syria Is Getting Aid From the West: Big Take Podcast

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(Bloomberg) — Listen to The Big Take podcast on iHeart, Apple Podcasts and Terminal.  

The recent earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria have left millions of people in desperate need of help. But those seeking to bring food, medicine, and supplies into the country face daunting obstacles. 

Syria’s government wants to control aid shipments and who gets them. Complicating efforts further, strict economic sanctions imposed on its government by the US and Europe make it difficult to conduct any transactions there.

Governments, banks, and humanitarian aid groups are sometimes wary of triggering penalties if their work is seen as violating the sanctions, even despite a temporary easing of the restrictions for earthquake relief.

Sylvia Westall in Dubai, who leads Bloomberg’s government coverage in the Middle East, and Nick Wadhams in Washington, DC, who oversees reporting on US national security and foreign policy, join this episode to talk about how sanctions and the Syrian government are complicating efforts to assist earthquake victims.

Jennifer Higgins of the International Rescue Committee describes how her organization is clearing these hurdles to bring help where it’s needed most.

This podcast is produced by the Big Take Podcast team: Supervising Producer: Vicki Vergolina, Senior Producer: Kathryn Fink, Producers: Mo Barrow, Rebecca Chaisson, Michael Falero and Federica Romaniello, Associate Producers: Sam Gebauer and Zaynab Siddiqui. Sound Design/Engineers: Raphael Amsili and Gilda Garcia.

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