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Children, Teachers Learn to Prepare for Disasters

By Anahit Gasparyan*

Armenia is among the 60 most disaster-prone countries in the world. Its small territory—roughly the size of the U.S. state of Maryland—is susceptible to a host of natural hazards, but especially to earthquakes, droughts and floods.

In 1988, Armenia experienced a devastating earthquake. At least 25,000 people died, and thousands more were left homeless, disabled and grieving.

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World + 69 others
CrisisWatch N°134 - 1 October 2014

The U.S. expanded its aerial campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in late September with strikes in Syria’s north and east. The operation, which targets both IS and fighters linked to al-Qaeda’s central leadership and the affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, risks alienating other rebel groups in Syria and strengthening support for IS.

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Armenia + 1 other
School Barriers for Syrian Armenians

Differences in language and lesson content make it hard for refugee pupils to keep up.

By Arpi Harutyunyan

Syrian Armenian refugees in Yerevan are worried about their children’s education, fearing that differences in language and curriculum will restrict their opportunities if and when they return home.

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Armenia + 1 other
Leaders Discuss Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict; Kerry Expresses 'Strong Concern'

By RFE/RL

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed "strong concern" to the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan over recent violence around the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Kerry met with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijani Presidentt Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Wales.

They discussed efforts to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh after "the deadliest period in the conflict since the 1994 cease-fire took effect," a State Department statement said.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty:

© RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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World + 66 others
CrisisWatch N°133 - 1 September 2014

The fight for control of Libya between the Misrata-led Islamist-leaning coalition and the Zintan-led forces is escalating by the day. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in over six weeks of clashes and heavy artillery fire. The Misrata side emerged victorious in the battle over Tripoli’s international airport, taking control of the capital, and made advances around Benghazi, but the larger political divide remains unresolved.

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Armenia + 1 other
Putin Hosts Azeri, Armenian Leaders For Karabakh Talks

The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan have begun their trilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The meeting began at Putin's summer retreat near Sochi.

Putin said both Azerbaijan and Armenia have the "good will to resolve the conflict peacefully."

News agencies quoted Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev saying the "conflict must be resolved, as it has been going on for two long."

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty:

© RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Azerbaijan + 1 other
Azeri-Armenian Conflict Fears as Death Toll Rises

Rising numbers of casualties shake 20-year-old ceasefire agreement.

By Armen Karapetyan, Afgan Mukhtarli - Caucasus

CRS Issue 747,

8 Aug 14

Rising fatalities on the front line around Nagorny Karabakh have raised fears that sporadic shootings may be tipping over into the most serious escalation of tensions since full-scale hostilities ended two decades ago.

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Armenia + 1 other
Putin to tackle threat of Karabakh war with leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan

08/06/2014 05:38 GMT

MOSCOW, August 6, 2014 (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will this week host leaders of arch-foes Armenia and Azerbaijan for talks as fears grow that military clashes may lead to a resumption of one of the bloodiest post-Soviet wars.

At the heart of the dispute is the fate of Nagorny Karabakh, a region mostly inhabited by ethnic Armenians that broke away from Azerbaijan with the help of Armenia in a war that claimed some 30,000 lives between 1991 and 1994.

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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Armenia + 1 other
Putin to mediate Nagorny Karabakh crisis this week: FM

MOSCOW, August 4, 2014 (AFP) - Russia's President Vladimir Putin will host talks this week between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in a bid to quell a surge of violence over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region, Moscow said Monday.

At least 18 Azerbaijanis and ethnic Armenians have died in recent days in the most serious bout of hostilities over the breakaway region in two decades.

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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Armenia + 1 other
Ban urges Armenia, Azerbaijan to observe ceasefire agreement

Report
UN News Service

4 August 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his opposition to the renewed fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus, urging the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides to respect a ceasefire agreement.

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Azerbaijan + 1 other
Statement by OSCE Chairperson’s Personal Representative Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk

TBILISI, 4 August 2014 – Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on the conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference, made the following statement today following recent media reports:

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Azerbaijan + 1 other
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minsk Group Co-Chairs deeply concerned about developments at Line of Contact, call for immediate action to defuse tensions

BERN/MOSCOW/PARIS/WASHINGTON, 2 August 2014 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister, Didier Burkhalter, together with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France, expressed their deep concern about the intense upsurge in violence along the Line of Contact and Armenian-Azerbaijani border that resulted in numerous casualties reported in recent days.

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World + 70 others
CrisisWatch N°132 - 1 August 2014

Increasing Israeli-Palestinian tensions culminated in Israel launching "Operation Protective Edge" in Gaza in early July (see our latest report and commentary). The assault, which started as an aerial campaign and was later extended to include ground operations, reportedly killed more than 1,400 Palestinians throughout the month while 64 Israelis were killed in clashes inside the Gaza Strip and by Hamas rocket fire. Several attempts at reaching a ceasefire agreement failed in July.

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World + 51 others
The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 24 - July 2014

Global Highlights

• During the first quarter of 2014, the global cereal price index decreased by 12% year-on-year, and slightly increased by 2% compared to the previous quarter.

• Real prices of maize were relatively stable and only 2% higher than the previous quarter of 2014.
Compared to the same period of the previous year, maize prices are low (-28%).

• Real prices of wheat increased significantly by 9% from Q1 to Q2-2014. More recently, for June, prices are down due to an increase in global supply and production.

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Armenia + 1 other
Helping to settle a Syrian family in Armenia

It is seven months since I first met Maral Gahvesjian, waiting patiently in a long queue of Syrians of Armenian descent, for their WFP food rations at Charents 20, a residential area of the capital, Yerevan. Maral, her husband and their three sons, fled their home in Aleppo, Syria nearly two years ago – as she put it, “leaving the dark days behind."

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Tajikistan + 7 others
Humanitarian Bulletin South Caucasus and Central Asia, Issue 03 | 1 January – 30 June 2014

In the first half of 2014, cross-border tensions continued in the Fergana valley, while multiple disasters hit Tajikistan. Authorities are warning that drought is looming over Kyrgyzstan.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.

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GIEWS Country Brief: Armenia 25-July-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • The 2014 cereal production expected to decline

  • Cereal imports increased in the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) but at low levels

  • Prices of wheat products general unchanged in June, while those of potatoes plummeted

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HFA helps Armenia reduce risk

By Andy McElroy

YEREVAN, 16 July 2014 – Armenia’s Minister of Emergency Situations has praised the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) for inspiring “significant progress” in his country’s efforts to reduce disaster risk.

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Armenia + 1 other
Azerbaijani forces kill Karabakh farmer: separatists

07/15/2014 15:19 GMT

YEREVAN, July 15, 2014 (AFP) - Azerbaijani troops killed an Armenian farmer in the latest violent confrontation along the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region's volatile frontline, rebel authorities said on Tuesday.

"On July 14 (Monday), Azerbaijani troops shot dead a resident of Karabakh's Askeran district, Arvind Danielyan," the separatist region's prosecutor general said in a statement.

Danielyan "was working the land on a tractor when Azerbaijani forces opened fire".

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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Armenia + 1 other
Armenia: Extreme winter conditions - DREF Operation n° MDRAM002 Final Report

CHF 138,746 was allocated from the International Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Armenian Red Cross Society in responding to the arising needs of Syrian refugees during the extreme winter by delivering assistance to 250 families (about 1,000 beneficiaries). During the operation, warm clothes, shoes and blankets as well as hygiene and sanitary items were provided to the vulnerable population affected by the extreme winter conditions.