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USAID Calls for Ensuring Rights of Nagorno-Karabakh Families to Return Home

Samantha Power, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development

Samantha Power, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), emphasized the importance of ensuring the rights of families from Nagorno-Karabakh (Republic of Artsakh) to safely return to their homes during a briefing in Yerevan on July 10.

At the briefing, Power prioritized the need for creating conditions that allow individuals and families from Nagorno-Karabakh to return to their homes without fear. She acknowledged the desire of many families to visit religious sites and the graves of their relatives, stressing that this return has yet to materialize.

"We are committed to advocating for and working towards the safe return of these families," Power stated. She stressed that the fundamental precondition for their return is a change in circumstances that ensures their safety and security.

Reflecting on her visit to the border in September 2023, Power recounted the hardships faced by families who forcefully fled Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia during the war. Many endured months without access to food and medicine before Azerbaijan took control of their communities.

"I met families who had to leave hastily, losing contact with their loved ones," Power recalled. While some families have been able to reunite, many others continue to face uncertainty and separation.

Power acknowledged the efforts of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in addressing the welfare of over 100,000 forcibly displaced people who arrived in Armenia. She noted that while employment rates have improved as of June, the suffering among this population remains profound.

"We continue to support these families, as well as the kindergartens and schools that provide care for children who have experienced severe trauma," Power affirmed. She highlighted initiatives where a businessman from Nagorno-Karabakh, now based in Armenia, employs recently arrived refugees, illustrating the challenges and resilience of these families.a


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