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U.S. to Provide $11.5 Million in Aid for Forcibly Displaced Persons from Artsakh: Samantha Power


U.S. to Provide $11.5 Million in Aid for Forcibly Displaced Persons from Artsakh: Samantha Power

In a press briefing held at the entrance to the Lachin corridor in Kornidzor, USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced that the United States will provide $11.5 million in humanitarian assistance to the people of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). The aid comes as a response to the dire humanitarian conditions faced by the indigenous population of Artsakh who were forcibly displaced after a nine-month blockade of the corridor followed by military attacks by the government of Azerbaijan.


Power emphasized the excruciating situation that has unfolded in Nagorno Karabakh, stating, "Blockages of food, medicine, and supplies created dire shortages inside Nagorno Karabakh. Humanitarian organizations, independent eyes and ears were shut out," and further noted that recent military attacks have exacerbated the already critical situation.


The USAID Administrator stressed the necessity of granting full and unimpeded access to the Lachin corridor and the towns in Nagorno Karabakh to humanitarian organizations. "President Biden sent me here to meet with government officials, NGOs, and civilians, families fleeing Nagorno Karabakh. Many of them fled their villages under shelling, and many who have arrived are suffering from severe malnutrition, according to doctors," she stated.


Power added, "It is absolutely critical that international monitors and humanitarian organizations get access to the people in Nagorno Karabakh who still have dire needs. We know that there are injured civilians in Nagorno Karabakh that need to be evacuated, and it is absolutely essential that evacuation be facilitated by the government of Azerbaijan."

In response to the scale of needs in Nagorno Karabakh, the United States will provide $11.5 million in humanitarian assistance. This assistance will encompass a wide range of support, including food, social-psychological support, and efforts to reunite families torn apart by the conflict.


Power highlighted the importance of freedom of movement for those displaced, stating, "We hear from people who moved to Armenia from Nagorno-Karabakh that they would like to return to their homes so that they can visit the graves of their relatives. This freedom of movement is absolutely necessary and important."


Moreover, Samantha Power assured that the United States would stand alongside the Armenian government, local authorities, and volunteers who are warmly welcoming those displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh. "We will work with them to provide the necessary support to those families who need it," she affirmed.


Addressing concerns about the situation possibly constituting ethnic cleansing, Power underscored the importance of international presence in Nagorno Karabakh, stating, "For us, it is very necessary for the international community to have the opportunity to be in Nagorno-Karabakh because at the moment there are still tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians living there in very difficult conditions. We are already hearing stories from the witnesses about violence, deprivation, and fear of the Azerbaijani authorities. Our focus is on supporting the most vulnerable to get out safely if they want to."



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