“Children are being impacted by the virtual closure of access to Nagorno-Karabakh via the Lachin corridor,” UNICEF said in a statement regarding the ongoing blockade of the only road that links Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia by Azerbaijan.

It said the longer the situation persists, the more children will experience the lack of basic food items, while access to many of the essential services they need for their survival, healthy growth and wellbeing will become more challenging. Many children have also been deprived of parental care as they have been separated from their parents or legal guardians.

“UNICEF echoes the UN Secretary-General’s appeal to ensure freedom and security of movement along the Lachin corridor, in line with previous agreements. This is critical to ensure that children in Nagorno-Karabakh are protected and that humanitarian actors can safely and quickly reach those in need. UNICEF continues to seek dialogue and work in coordination with all actors to gain access to children in these areas.”

The sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, has been blocked since December 12 by groups of Azerbaijanis, described by Azerbaijani state media as environmental activists protesting against illegal mining in the area.

Armenia accused Azerbaijan of seeking to cause a humanitarian collapse in Nagorno-Karabakh and force its residents to leave their homes. On December 13-16 Azerbaijan also cut off gas supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh, pumped from Armenia.

Due to the blockade there is a shortage of medications, fuel as well as food and other essentials,”

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