CWS Urges Cessation of Sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, Cuba in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

March 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat, our humanitarian response must be global as well

Washington, D.C.: CWS joined a growing number of faith-based and humanitarian organizations and delivered a letter to Congress today urging the immediate lifting of sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter reflects CWS’ 74-year-long experience as a global humanitarian agency with programs in development, humanitarian aid, and refugee assistance and the shared values of its 31 member communions representing over 30 million Christians across the United States.

“Our call is inspired by our Christian faith and CWS´s adherence to the humanitarian imperative to save lives and advance human dignity.

Timing is critical. The urgency to act intensifies each day, and every life that can be saved must be saved. All people matter equally to God, whether American, Iranian or Venezuelan. While the United States government has serious differences with the governments of sanctioned countries, their people are not our enemies.”

The full text of the letter is available in English and Spanish.

To set up an interview with Maurice Bloem, Executive Vice President of CWS or ask other questions about our response to COVID-19, contact Bilal Askaryar at

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at