Statement by Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, on the potential designation of Ansar Allah, Yemen, as a terrorist organisation

Published 19. Nov 2020
"The Norwegian Refugee Council joins other humanitarian organisations in expressing deep concern at the prospect of additional, near-insurmountable hurdles to providing lifesaving aid in Yemen."

“Should the Government of the United States proceed with the proposed designation of Ansar Allah, as a terrorist organisation, they must at the same time issue a “General License” that ensures humanitarian organisations are provided with clear and unambiguous exemptions, allowing aid to still be delivered. Ansar Allah are the de-facto authorities of the northern governorates in Yemen.

Our humanitarian workers are not armed, not parties to conflict, not taking sides. We must work with, for and among civilians in conflict and crossfire. We must be able to negotiate access for our aid and protection of civilians with all sides to all conflicts. Our humanitarian work must not be criminalised. Where sanctions threaten to make our normal work illegal, they threaten the survival of people who depend on it.

This move comes at a time of unprecedented crisis for Yemen, when famine alarms have been sounded loudly once again. We strongly urge the U.S. Government to ensure that any designation in Yemen includes an unambiguous General License that safeguards humanitarian work and allows us to do our jobs.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

  • In Yemen: Sultana Begum, Adcocacy Manager, Phone: +967 737 889 699| Skype ID sultana_begum | Whatsapp: + 447932616315
  • In Oslo: NRC media hotline,, +47 905 62 329