OFAC Issues General Licenses for Humanitarian Activities in Sudan

Yesterday, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a series of four General Licenses authorizing certain activities in Sudan. These new Licenses define exceptions to the May 4, 2023 Executive Order 14098 (“Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons Destabilizing Sudan…”) and ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid in the country.

These new licenses include:

  • Sudan General License No. 1: Authorizing Official Business of Certain International Organizations and Entities
  • Sudan General License No. 2: Authorizing Certain Transactions in Support of Nongovernmental Organizations’ Activities
  • Sudan General License No. 3: Transactions Related to the Provision of Agricultural Commodities, Medicine, Medical Devices, Replacement Parts and Components, or Software Updates, and the Extraction, Processing, Transport, Sale, or Distribution of Water in Sudan
  • Sudan General License No. 4: Authorizing the Wind Down of Transactions Involving Defense Industries System or Al Junaid Multi Activities Co Ltd

CAF America particularly welcomes License No. 2, which allows US entities to support humanitarian projects that meet basic human needs, including:

  • Disaster, drought, and flood relief;
  • Food, nutrition, or medicine distribution;
  • Providing health services;
  • Assisting vulnerable or displaced populations, including individuals with disabilities and the elderly; and
  • Maintaining environmental programs.

A General License is an authorization from the Treasury Department to perform certain, defined activities without the need to apply for a specific license; they are critical to NGOs and nonprofit organizations that seek to provide humanitarian aid in otherwise sanctioned countries or regions. Importantly, they serve a significant role in ensuring that philanthropists and grantmakers in the United States can give with confidence to countries facing disaster, crisis, and war.

However, donors must understand giving in Sudan still remains high-risk. It is critical for donors to work with a trusted grantmaker with an in-depth understanding of the international regulations, sanctions and inherent risks of donating to Sudan during this time of conflict.

About the Author

  • Brooks Reed, CAP®

    Brooks Reed serves as CAF America's Vice President of Thought Leadership & Philanthropy. He has worked with the CAF Group in a variety of roles since October 2015, when he was a co-author on the report titled Beyond Integrity: Exploring the role of business in preserving the civil society space (Charities Aid Foundation, 2016). After briefly working with CAF UK’s International Team in London, he joined CAF America in 2017 and has led the Department of Business Development since January 2018.

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