Hrazdan, 23 May 2022
On 23 May, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, organized a ceremony in Hrazdan town, Kotayk province, to thank the European Union (EU) for its generous support that benefited families in a refugee-like situation in Armenia displaced by the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) conflict, improving their integration within the host communities. The contribution from the EU, in the framework of the 2021 Inter-Agency Response Plan, enabled UNHCR to provide timely and efficient protection support to the families in a refugee-like situation in Armenia – among them vulnerable women, children, older persons, and people with special needs.
This funding supported the establishment of community support initiatives through UNHCR partner Armenian Red Cross Society (ARCS) to strengthen peaceful co-existence between the people in a refugee-like situation and host communities, and allowed UNHCR to carry out important activities such as protection monitoring, case management, legal assistance, capacity building, and support to the inter-agency coordination architecture. UNHCR also implemented projects for women, including local women, to promote their self-reliance through livelihoods and inclusion in the host community.
The ceremony was held at the community-based NGO ‘’Resource Center for Women’s Empowerment NGO” in Hrazdan, and welcomed the participation of the Deputy Head of Cooperation, the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ms. Silja Kasmann; the Mayor of Hrazdan, Mr. Sevak Mikayelyan; the UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia, Ms. Lila Pieters Yahia; Anna-Carin Öst, the UNHCR Representative in Armenia; as well as community-based NGOs, local families, and families in a refugee-like situation and their children.
“Today’s occasion,” said Lila Pieters Yahia, the UN Resident Coordinator, “will give us the opportunity to celebrate the hospitality of the host communities and the resilience of the displaced people who are determined to start a new life, learn and create, and contribute to their host communities.”
“UNHCR sincerely thanks the European Union for its committed support for the families in a refugee-like situation” said Anna-Carin Öst, UNHCR Representative in Armenia during the ceremony. “EU’s contribution has enabled UNHCR and its partners to provide effective and efficient protection and community support activities, including psycho-social and legal support, as well as educational and livelihoods activities, reaching around 26,000 people in a refugee-like situation as well as the communities which have warmly welcomed and hosted them.”
“EU is very grateful to our partners, in particular UNHCR but also other partners, for their tireless efforts to help people in need and ensure a timely response for effective and efficient refugee protection. For the EU, it is a priority to continue our support to people in a refugee-like situation and host communities,” mentioned Silja Kasmann, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Armenia.
Russell Fraser, External Relations Officer, UNHCR Armenia, firstname.lastname@example.org