From 30 January to 7 March 2014, Armenian Red Cross Society distributed humanitarian aid to 263 Syrian Armenian families (980 persons) by the finance of IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Beneficiaries were provided with winter clothes and shoes, hygiene parcels and blankets.
As an organization auxiliary to the government in humanitarian sphere and leaded by its Mission to prevent and reduce human sufferings, Armenian Red Cross Society could not remain indifferent to the problems of Syrian Armenians, forced to migrate to Armenia as a result of Civil War in Syria, and started to help them from the very first day of their arrival.
Taking into consideration the situation and the raising number of refugees in need, ARCS initiated specific projects aimed at contributing to enhanced livelihood conditions of Syrian Armenians in Armenia.
The projects are financed by UNHCR, Austrian Development Agency, American Embassy in Armenia and supported by Austrian Red Cross.
In the frames of the projects ARCS support Syrian Armenian in the following main directions:improve reception conditions, social support, protection of non-returned principle, self – reliance and livelihood improvement, community empowerment, awareness raising and integration, sex and gender violence prevention and response.
From autumn 2012 till now 500 families have been provided with hygiene parcels, 1615persons have received coupons to get winter clothes and shoes, 60 persons with disabilities were provided with glasses disability tools, hearing devices, 15000 AMD per month have received the most vulnerable 32 persons.
Group and individual information/orientation sessions are being organized for newly-arrived on the rights and responsibilities of refugees, employment, health and education issues in RA. From 2012 till now 1736 Syrian Armenians have been consulted.
Starting from 2013 income generating component was included in projects for assisting Syrian Armenians to start their own small business, providing equipment and consultation. In 2013 88Syrian Armenians were provided with income generating means.
ARCS has supported also child refugees. In 2013 147 children received clothes and shoes, 97schoolchildren were provided with some ammount of money to purchase school uniforms and stationary, babies have received child carriages, infant food and diapers. On 1-7 August, summer camp was organized involving also Syrian Armenian children.
In 2014, in the frames of different projects income generating means will be provided for 160beneficiaries. In upcoming months 300 families will get household and hygiene parcels, 250families (1000 persons) will receive coupons for winter clothes and shoes and beneficiaries with chronic diseases will have coupons to buy medicine.
In 2014 ARCS plans to work with communities were refugees and Syrian Armenians live, to consolidate them involving civil society and cooperating with international and local organizations. This will lead to further empowerment of community potential for issues identification, decision making and resource mobilization. Grants will be provided to resolve some issues within the community.
The projects are being implemented in cooperation with RA Ministry of Diaspora, State Migration Agency, “Syrian Armenian issues coordination” Center» NGO, “State Employment Service” agency and “Small and Medium entrepreneurship development” National Center.
The Disaster Management and Population Movement direction of the Armenian Red Cross is providing asylum seekers and refugees in RA with basic humanitarian, medical, psycho-social assistance and advocacy. The direction is also implementing regular border monitoring and is involved in activities aimed at integration of refugees, Armenian Red Cross Society reports.