YEREVAN — As a result of the heaviest fighting since the early 1990’s, approximately 90,000 people were displaced from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone to Armenia between 27 September and 9 November 2020, 88% of whom being women and children, the UN Office in Armenia said in a news release.
The UN in Armenia quickly mobilized a response and from early October began complementing Government humanitarian support provided by ten priority municipalities as well as the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to those displaced.
The UN together with its donor partners has provided support across a range of critical needs for those displaced and host communities:
In particular, from 15 October until now, the UN agencies and partners have responded with the distribution of 33,330 non-food items, including bedding items, towels, hygiene supplies, and household items. A total of 6,800 individual kits and 805 family kits were distributed in various locations, including Yerevan. 500 packages of baby diapers were provided to spontaneous arrivals from Nagorno-Karabakh in Goris, Sisian and Kapan. As part of the winterization response, 1,475 bedding kits, including bed linen, pillows and winter blankets, were distributed in Dilijan, Sisian and Kapan. Additional 21,000 winter blankets and 648 heaters were distributed across different regions. 2,250 children in Vardenis, Kotyak, Hrazdan and Goris benefited from warm clothing.
In response to shelter needs, 1,000 foldable beds have been distributed to families mainly in Gegharkunik, Tavush, Syunik and Kotyak. In addition, the payment of utilities costs for 64 facilities was covered.
A child protection hotline and helpline for social service workforce professionals was established, providing 24/7 response, advice and guidance on child protection cases. 940 social service workforce professionals (social workers, teachers, school psychologists, youth workers) were trained and skilled to be able to provide psychological first aid and mental health and psychosocial support. 355 children, 520 adolescents, and 394 parents have benefited from mental health and psychosocial support, including through individual and group interventions, art and music. 1,257 people received case management support, including referrals and provision of care packages. 25 adolescents from Nagorno-Karabakh were trained as peer support volunteers for continuous provision of mental health and psychosocial support to adolescents. 100 at-home art kits were distributed to the most vulnerable adolescents.
To address education needs 11,500 displaced school-age children from Nagorno-Karabakh who are currently enrolled in secondary education in Armenia were supported. Peer-to-peer learning was initiated through a network of peer educators for 100 students from Nagorno-Karabakh located in Armavir.
To alleviate Food Security and Nutrition issues, assistance reached 17,965 people with hundreds of metric tons of food assistance in November and December.
The UN and partners supported the Ministry of Health’s efforts in providing health services to both citizens of Armenia and the spontaneous arrivals, for example 100 Oxygen Concentrators and other COVID-19 supplies were provided to the Ministry. A UK Emergency medical team was deployed in Armenia for case management and on-the-job training in the “Surb Grigor Lusarovich” medical center and the National Center of Infectious Diseases.
Thank you. Good work.
What would have been more helpful years ago to prevent the war would have been the UN’s having worked to formally recognize Artsakh.