U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

231. Can U.S. NGOs deliver humanitarian assistance directly to Syria?


Yes.  U.S. NGOs may provide services to Syria in support of humanitarian projects in Syria as authorized by § 542.516 of the Syrian Sanctions Regulations.  NGOs carrying out activities funded by the U.S. government, as described in § 542.522, or international organizations, as described in § 542.513, may also rely on those respective authorizations for their activities.  Additionally, NGOs may also rely on the authorization in § 542.533 for activities in certain economic sectors in non-regime held areas of Northeast and Northwest Syria.  However, other U.S. government authorities, including the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) export requirements, may apply to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Syria. In particular, BIS maintains comprehensive restrictions on the export or reexport to Syria of items (commodities, software, and technology) subject to the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR parts 730-774 (EAR). These restrictions apply to all items subject to the EAR apart from food and medicine that are designated as EAR99.  BIS licenses certain categories of items for export or reexport to Syria on a case-by-case basis.  See EAR § 746.9.  For further guidance, please review the BIS Syria Web page or contact BIS by phone at (202) 482-4252.

NGOs considering entering Syria to conduct assistance operations should be aware that areas of Syria are extremely unstable and dangerous, and should review the State Department’s Travel Warning for Syria http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/syria-travel-warning.html.

U.S. persons should exercise caution not to engage in prohibited transactions with the Government of Syria or any individual or entity on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) or any other sanctions list maintained by OFAC.  

Updated: June 05, 2024

Date Released
August 3, 2012