OSF–Armenia provides humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by war in Atrsakh

Azerbaijan’s wholesale military aggression against the Artsakh has already created an acute humanitarian crisis and egregious violations of the international humanitarian law and  rights, in particular the right to life and the right to health, children’s, property rights, use of banned weaponry against civilians and alleged desecration of bodies of fallen soldiers. Civilian population and infrastructure far from the military theater were targeted and damaged.

Open Society Foundations – Armenia, faithful to its mission of safeguarding human rights, from the first day of the war categorically condemned the aggression and the use of force against the civilian population as a means of solving the conflict. The Foundation, jointly with several civil society organizations, addressed a number of statements and letters to the international organizations and human rights community, demanding to stop the Azerbaijani aggression, to condemn the attacks on the civilian population, and to assess the gravest violations of human rights occurring in Artsakh.

OSF–Armenia is supporting the key human rights defenders and lawyers to pursue access to justice for the victims of war crimes. To this end, a series of grant projects will help to restore the rights of the people in the war affected communities both in Artsakh and Armenia through litigation in international courts, using international procedures for human rights protection and holding the perpetrators accountable.

Parallel to human rights activities, OSF–Armenia is financing humanitarian projects with a view to supporting families that have temporarily moved to Armenia after leaving their homes in Artsakh because of the Azerbaijani aggression. In cooperation with state agencies and a number of non-governmental organizations, OSF–Armenia is assessing the needs of persons displaced from Artsakh, especially children, women, and the elderly, for the provision of targeted and urgent assistance to them. To date, OSF–Armenia has allocated over than $200,000 to provide humanitarian aid to families that have moved to Armenia from Artsakh. This assistance primarily goes to providing for the basic living needs (food, clothing, heating) of civilians that suffered because of the Azerbaijani aggression, as well as medication and hygiene supplies to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 among them.

To be more specific, with a grant from OSF–Armenia, food, clothes, hygiene supplies, and school supplies are provided to women and children that moved from Artsakh and found temporary shelter in the town of Goris and the nearby communities. OSF–Armenia is supporting the provision of food, clothing, and school supplies to over 400 people from Artsakh who have found shelter in the Gegharkunik Region of Armenia. A month’s food and hygiene supplies are being provided to around 800 families currently located in Yerevan and the regions of Armenia.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, OSF–Armenia has financed also the delivery of hot meals, blankets, and raincoats for the doctors that have traveled to the frontline of the hostilities. In addition to humanitarian projects, OSF–Armenia was also supporting security measures for journalists covering the hostilities. OSF–Armenia financed a grant for purchasing bullet-proof vests and helmets, which were provided free of charge to mass media representatives working on the frontline. Awareness materials on civil defense of the population during a state of war have been produced, and dozens of online discussions have been held.

With its partner organizations, OSF–Armenia is presently expanding the projects of mitigating the consequences of the humanitarian crisis and providing targeted aid to displaced persons, acting in close cooperation with state agencies, local self-government bodies, and non-governmental organizations.

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