Our work in Armenia in 2018
In Armenia, the ICRC focuses on providing civilians living along the international border, missing persons and their families, mine victims and people deprived of their liberty with assistance. In addition, we promote the dissemination and implementation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) among national authorities, academics, students and military personnel. Our key partner in Armenia is the Armenian Red Cross Society (ARCS) with whom we coordinate activities aimed at helping people affected by the conflict.
In 2018, we continued helping the most vulnerable households in communities located along the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, where the socio-economic situation is particularly challenging. As a result, 145 families in Dovegh and Aygepar villages of Tavush region received financial assistance to start small-scale businesses. Additionally, we provided multipurpose cash assistance to 50 extremely vulnerable families who were unable to manage business activities because of their age, health condition or other circumstances.
We supported the border villages of Sarigyugh, Baghanis, Koti and Aygepar through construction of a pumping station and a water intake, installation of plastic reservoirs, water meters, public taps, pipelines, concrete manholes and other technical components.
We also continued to construct safer spaces, wall in exposed windows, and build protective walls for kindergartens, schools and other public buildings, part of which were done thanks to a partnership with the ARCS and the German Red Cross.
Along with instructors of the ARCS, we organized first-aid courses, provided life-saving skills and first-aid boxes to around 200 members of civil protection rescue teams of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
We continued to collect biological reference samples in the form of buccal swabs from blood relatives of those who had gone missing in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Until now, in Armenia, we have collected samples from 1,122 blood relatives of 344 missing persons.
In 2018, over 320 mine victims and members of their families improved their living conditions through our supported micro-economic initiatives, the house repair programme and unconditional cash grants.
In November, the Government of Armenia approved a bill enabling Armenian and foreign detainees without possibility of short family visits to contact their families via a video-call service. We supported the implementation of a video-call service pilot project as well as donated computers and IT accessories to penitentiaries across the country.
We introduced the rules of IHL to members of the Armenian Armed Forces, trained and briefed around 390 military instructors, commanders and deputy commanders of border units as well as troops departing for peace support missions abroad. In addition, we ran four sessions on the ICRC mandate and IHL basics to troops stationed along the international border in Tavush region.
In 2018, we expanded the scope of our national-level summer course on IHL and launched the first Regional Summer School. We also organized the national moot court competition and supported the 11th edition of the IHL International Conference for Young Researchers in Yerevan, thus engaging students, experts and practitioners from Armenia and across the world.
For more information please read our overview of activities and facts and figures in 2018.