YEREVAN — Thirty-seven Syrian Armenians have moved from Aleppo to Armenia with the support of Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) foundation, which was set up by the Russian-Armenian philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan.
IDeA’s “Support for Syrian Armenians” initiative allocated in October $250,000 to support Syrian Armenians gravely affected by the bloody conflict in the Middle Eastern state. The sum will be allocated through the strategic partner AGBU that has been involved in relief efforts from early days of the conflict and other non-governmental organizations who currently implement Syrian Armenian support projects in Armenia – RepatArmenia, Mission Armenia, Aleppo NGO, and the funds will be aimed at planning and implementing the following:
– aid to those who continue to remain in Syria
– aid to those who seek temporary refuge outside Syrian borders
– aid to those who have decided to relocate to Armenia
– aid to those who want to work and live in Armenia
In a statement, IDeA said another 18 people have applied to the “Aleppo” compatriotic union with a request to move to Armenia.
The announcement follows the capture by Syrian government troops of all districts in Aleppo remaining under rebel control. The city was home to the majority of an estimated 80,000 Armenians who lived in Syria before the civil war.
According to Armenian government estimates, only about 7,000 ethnic Armenians remain Aleppo at present. Virtually all of them live in the city’s western government-controlled districts that were for years shelled by rebel forces.
Up to 20,000 Syrian Armenians are thought to have fled to Armenia in the last five years. Many of them have been struggling to find jobs in a country that has long suffered from high unemployment.