On 27 September 2020, fighting broke out along the line of contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan and progressively expanded to the territories around and inside Nagorno-Karabakh until a ceasefire statement was signed on 9 November 2020. As a consequence, tens of thousands of people fled from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia while tens of thousands of people affected by the conflict were also temporarily displaced within Azerbaijan.
According to the Armenian Migration Service, some 90,000 persons found themselves in a refugee-like situation in Armenia as reported in December, spread across the ten marzes (provinces) of the country1 including the Yerevan communities. Of these, 88% were women and children. 2 Various sources have indicated that, since mid-November until mid-December, between 20,000 and 50,000 individuals have returned to Nagorno-Karabakh, although there is no clarity as to how many of these returns are permanent or of a more temporary nature.
The host community in Armenia welcomed the refugee-like population, sharing accommodation, food, and other available resources. However, previously socioeconomically stable households that hosted refugee-like families are now facing challenges to pay rent, utilities and provide food. In addition to being hosted by local communities, the new arrivals benefit from the communal accommodation provided by the Government. In its effort to address urgent needs of the affected population, the Government has been rolling out several cash-based support programmes, since mid-November 2020, for the affected population.
The conflict impacted the refugee-like population and host communities physically, socially, mentally, and financially, and is adding pressure on institutions and their capacity to coordinate, finance and fully address essential needs.