Azerbaijan/Armenia: ICRC calls for civilians to be protected

Geneva (ICRC)–Following today’s escalation of hostilities, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is extremely concerned about the humanitarian impact on civilians in the coming hours and days. Communities have endured the devastating effects of the armed conflict over many years. In the last few months in particular, basic commodities have been hard to find and access to health care extremely limited. These events are likely to deepen their suffering.
News release 19 September 2023 Armenia Azerbaijan

The ICRC calls on all military authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure civilian life and civilian infrastructure is respected and protected at all times, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

"We are ready to respond to any increased humanitarian needs of the population and to continue our ongoing work across the region," said the ICRC's regional director for Europe and Central Asia, Ariane Bauer. "We call on all military authorities to do their utmost to protect civilian life and to respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution."

ICRC teams have today distributed medical supplies to two hospitals, with more deliveries planned. On 18 September, the ICRC delivered much-needed shipments of wheat flour and essential medical items to people in need via the Lachin corridor and the Aghdam road. We once again call for regular and unimpeded access to continue to reach those most in need.

From December 2022 to July 2023, the ICRC delivered 77 trucks of assistance along the Lachin corridor, including 900 metric tonnes of medical supplies for health care facilities. We also distributed around 10,000 food and hygiene parcels to people in need. More than 800 people in need of medical care have been evacuated across the Lachin corridor by ICRC teams.

The ICRC has been present in the South Caucasus since 1992 and is the only international organization operating across the region.

About the ICRC
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners.

For more information, please contact:
Fatima Sator, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 848 49 08, 
Ilaha Huseynova, ICRC Baku, tel: +994 50 316 00 24,
Zara Amatuni, ICRC Yerevan, tel: +374 99 011 360,