United Nations Mobilizes for Urgent Humanitarian Response
In a concerted effort to address the dire needs of refugees who have fled the Karabakh region and their generous hosts in Armenia, the United Nations and its partners have taken decisive action. They launched an emergency response plan on Saturday, urgently seeking $97 million in funding.
This vital initiative aims to provide immediate and substantial assistance to the vulnerable, including 136,000 refugees and 95,000 members of the local host community, all profoundly affected by the recent escalation of hostilities.
UN High Commissioner’s Plea for International Support
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, issued a passionate plea for international support in the wake of this humanitarian crisis. Grandi emphasized the critical role that international assistance plays in sustaining the refuge and bolstering the resilience of those affected.
Rapid Influx of Refugees
Since the end of September, an astonishing influx of over 100,000 refugees arrived in Armenia within just one week. Fleeing conflict and instability, these individuals found refuge in Armenia, placing immense pressure on the nation’s resources and services.
Remarkable Solidarity and Local Support
Recognizing the remarkable response from local host communities, Grandi commended the profound generosity and unwavering solidarity exhibited by the people of Armenia.
In a remarkable display of unity, national authorities, volunteers, and civil society have tirelessly worked hand in hand, collaborating closely to provide indispensable support and assistance to those in need, thereby forging a cohesive and compassionate response to the crisis.
Six-Month Emergency Response Plan
The Armenia emergency refugee response plan, supported by a coalition of 60 partners, among them 43 national NGOs, meticulously outlines relief efforts spanning a six-month period, slated to conclude at the end of March 2024.
This comprehensive and far-reaching initiative is designed with the overarching goal of providing vital assistance to a substantial total of 231,000 individuals, encompassing both refugees and the resilient members of the local host communities.
Meeting Critical Needs in Challenging Conditions
Among the refugees are approximately 30,000 children and many vulnerable individuals, such as pregnant women, those with disabilities, and individuals with chronic health conditions. Over half of the refugees are either children or elderly individuals who require immediate and critical support.
Overwhelming Strain on Host Communities
With the sudden arrival of over 100,000 refugees, Armenia’s host community faces immense pressure, equivalent to over 3.4 percent of the country’s population. This influx adds to the pre-existing refugee, asylum seeker, and stateless population of approximately 35,000 people, further stretching national resources.
A Comprehensive Response Plan
The response plan, which complements the government-led efforts, will prioritize emergency protection and assistance. Simultaneously, it will emphasize inclusion, resilience, and long-term solutions, reaching both refugees and host communities.
The plan spans multiple sectors, including protection, gender-based violence prevention, child protection, education, food security, nutrition, health, resilience, shelter, and non-food items. It also aims to strengthen national public services for a sustainable future.
In the face of this humanitarian crisis, the United Nations and its partners have steadfastly embarked on a mission to provide critical aid. This resolute commitment reaffirms the paramount importance of global cooperation in addressing the urgent needs of those profoundly affected by the conflict in the Karabakh region.