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NK Crisis Response


“By mid-January, we will launch the Inter-Agency Response Plan to further enhance our response to the broader humanitarian consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis." UN RC, Shombi Sharp

UN Armenia support to people displaced from in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and affected communities in Armenia 

Summary October to December 2020

For additional information see the Armenia Response Portal

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[1].

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 system put in place a structure with five thematic working groups under the overall lead of the Resident Coordinator’s Office and with support from UNHCR, to coordinate efforts of the UN and humanitarian partners, working closely with Government and municipal authorities. The UN Armenia country team discussed the UN’s support programme with Deputy Prime Minister Grigoryan and Foreign Minister Ayvazyan on 9 and 21 December respectively, noting the close partnership with the Government and the municipalities.

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.

 

Thousands of children and families from Nagorno-Karabakh in temporary shelters or host families in Armenia face a harsh winter. To help ease the financial burden on them, UNICEF provided 800 sets of warm blankets and bed linen and 4500 hygiene kits. 

  • In response to shelter needs1,000 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.
  • 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.

 

In partnership with several NGOs UNICEF provided individual and group psychosocial support to children affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 150 school psychologists and 900 teachers have participated in a month-long training sessions enhancing their psychological support skills.  

  • 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.

 

UNICEF supports the continuity of education for children affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 

 

To help displaced and local children adjust and progress in online education during COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR, together with partners Teach For Armenia and FAR-Children's Support Centre, has provided 20 tablets to the secondary school in Darbnik village of Ararat province which is hosting refugee and displaced families.

  • To alleviate Food Security and Nutrition issues, assistance reached 17,965 people with hundreds of metric tons of food assistance in November and December.

    

WFP distributes Take-Home Rations to support the food needs of children and their families. 

 

The World Food Programme, in partnership with the Armenian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, started distributing a one-off food ration for 44,000 vulnerable people.

UNICEF will deliver 5000 boxes of food to families from Nagorno-Karabakh with children below 5 years old in Yeghegnadzor, Sisian, Goris, Kapan, Dilijan, and Vagharshapat communities. 

  • 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.

  

With the support of WHO, the Ministry of Health of Armenia and British Embassy five doctors and nurses have arrived in Armenia from the United Kingdom to support Armenian healthcare workers in managing severe COVID-19 patients. 

  • Contributing to Early Recovery and aligned with ongoing planning towards additional renewable energy solutions for target municipalitiesassistance has been provided to meet increasing utility costs (e.g. 100 tons of briquette fuel for 50 arrival and host families in Lori region).

     

UNDP Sustainable Communities project, funded by the Russian Federation, in partnership with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia, established “Ambar” Foundation with the aim to become a seed reserve logistic center to ensure food security of Chambarak community. As a result, in 2020 the foundation harvested 200 tons of potato and 39 tons of barley. The profit will go to the development of Chambarak community. 

To date, 15 UN agencies, 32 international NGOs, 26 national NGOs, three intergovernmental organizations, three Government entities, and six international organizations operate in the coordination structure across the five thematic working groups to address the following needs: Shelter and Non-Food Items, Protection, Food Security and Nutrition, Health, as well as consider already Early Recovery. Three additional sub-working groups address Child Protection, Education, and Cash Assistance. The working groups are supported by an Information Management team, advisors on gender as well as on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS).

     

Thanks to joint efforts of WFP, the Armenian Government and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, distribution of Take-Home Rations for 1st to 4th graders has started in Mesrop Mashtots primary school N 1 in Sevan Armenia.

To provide detailed and continuously updated information regarding the humanitarian response of UN agencies and partners, an Armenia Response Portal was developed with the support of UNHCR. The portal includes factsheets and figures, reports and assessments, and describes all the support provided by each of working groups.

  

UNICEF provided hygiene kits to 1500 families from Nagorno-Karabakh in Jermuk and Yerevan and 300 sets of bed linen. 

The UN and partners are now working to build on these results with a new strategy that will also help development partners better identify gaps to support, complementing government and municipal programmes. “By mid-January, we will launch the Inter-Agency Response Plan to enhance our response to both the broader humanitarian consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis as well as early recovery needs for hosting communities, support to jobs and livelihoods and community resilience,” noted Mr. Sharp while summarizing the report.

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Read the latest report on UN Armenia’s and partners’ support to the displaced people from Nagorno-Karabakh in Armenia. 

 


[1] Data received from the Migration Service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure on 8 December 2020.