Amil Hasanov/ICRC

Azerbaijan: ICRC response to escalation and COVID-19

Article 04 February 2021 Azerbaijan

Throughout 2020, the ICRC offices in Baku and Barda continued to deliver an effective humanitarian response to people affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

During the year, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic from March onwards, as well as the 44-day escalation of hostilities from 27 September to 10 November 2020 meant the ICRC had to adapt, update and expand planned operations significantly.

The ICRC has a close ongoing dialogue with government authorities, and was able to offer support where and when relevant, in particular related to the escalation of hostilities and resulting humanitarian consequences. Body bags and protective equipment were distributed to relevant authorities involved in search and retrieval operations of fallen servicemen. Over 80 such operations were carried out in presence of the ICRC as a neutral intermediary.

To assist the health system of the country, 15 War Wounded Kits were donated, enough to treat at least 750 severely wounded. A total of 116,265 various Personal Protective Equipment and COVID-19 diagnostic equipment items were donated to the Main Medical Department under the Ministry of Justice for the benefit of all categories of detainees.

Strong cooperation is in place with the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society (AzRCS) to assess the needs, extend relevant support and strengthen capacity, in coordination with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

11 vehicles were donated to the AzRCS headquarters and district branches to ensure operational continuity and efficiency in reaching communities affected by the conflict. 10 district branches of the national society operating in conflict-affected regions received emergency tool kits to be better prepared for emergencies.

While ensuring business and operational continuity as much as possible, the ICRC is now continuing to enhance its capacity and programs to address the needs and challenges emerging from the significant developments of 2020. Below are a few highlights of our activities in 2020.

  • Over 11,000 households (49,514 individuals) received cash assistance.
  • Up to 6,000 people benefitted from repaired boreholes for irrigation and drinking water.
  • 20,000 hand sanitizers and masks were delivered to the AzRCS district branches to assist communities affected by conflict and ensure the safety of staff and volunteers.
  • 6,500 people benefitted from disinfection works in public buildings with materials and equipment donated by the ICRC to the sanitary-epidemiological units of 8 districts.
  • 1,150 persons benefited from the distribution of 24 tons of fire wool, 100 sets of fire stoves, 600 mattresses and 14 electrical ovens, and the installation of 14 washing points, 8 shower blocks, 11 latrines and pipelines, and electrical cables.
  • Over 80 search and retrieval operations for human remains were carried out in the areas affected by the recent fighting in the presence of the ICRC as a neutral intermediary.

Complete facts and figures of our activities carried out through Baku and Barda offices are available here.