ACT Alliance Alert: Syrian refugees in Armenia
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
The armed conflict in Syria has caused 1,2 million internally displaced people and 360,000 refugees who are seeking protection outside the country (OCHA 2 Nov. 2012). Some 7,000 Syrians fled to Armenia where 540 families were registered so far by the Ministry of Diaspora as “families in need”. 90 families have filed refugee claims with the responsible State authorities, but in the majority of cases the arriving Syrian Armenians do not register by any entity as they consider Armenia their home country.
2. Why is an ACT response needed?
ACT Alliance member, the Armenia Inter-church Round Table Foundation (ART), in close cooperation with the Ministry of Diaspora has carried out an assessment showing that the situation for the Syrian Refugees in Armenia is worsening. Many refugees arrived with limited means to cover basic needs, and those who could at first rely on savings or support from host families are now increasingly in need of assistance in terms of shelter, food, and warm clothing.
3. National and international response
Local authorities, the Armenian Ministries of Diaspora, Health, Education, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Armenian Relief Society, UNHCR, UNICEF, FAO and other organizations have begun the needs assessment. Several of these service providers have already supported the Syrian refugees but additional assistance is needed.
4. ACT Alliance response
ART is coordinating the response together with other ACT Armenia Forum members. UMCOR, Armenia is planning to provide some 240 pieces of hygiene supplies to families.
5. Planned activities
ART will identify the most vulnerable families and is planning to provide food packages for one-month duration, first aid kits and blankets. A request for Rapid Support Funds (RRF) will be made to carry out the support project which will be implemented by ART, UMCOR, Armenia and the Araratyan Patriarchal Diocese. The affected people are also getting psychological and spiritual support from the clergy.