Armenia: ICRC helps families of missing persons renovate their houses
24-02-2011 News Release 11/39
Yerevan (ICRC) – Last month, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Fuller Centre for Housing Armenia, a local non-governmental organization, launched a joint programme in Tavush province, in north-eastern Armenia, aimed at helping the families of persons who went missing in connection with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.
The families living in sub-standard housing are offered long-term, interest-free payment-in-kind loans to repair and upgrade their houses. In addition, they are provided with expert advice on construction materials and technological options, and with guidance in dealing with other practical matters once the renovation work is under way.
"The fact that the families started rebuilding their houses in winter proves that the programme we set up responds to a real need," said Aslan Bzhikhatlov, an ICRC delegate supervising the programme. "Families of the missing persons are a particularly disadvantaged group. That is why we decided to do what we could to help them better cope with the terrible uncertainty they face in their daily lives."
"This partnership is an opportunity for us to provide improved housing for more families," said Ashot Yeghiazaryan, board director of the Fuller Centre for Housing Armenia. "I am sure that as a result of our cooperation with the ICRC many families will have better homes in which to raise their kids."
For now, the programme is limited to Tavush, but the ICRC and the Fuller Centre intend to extend it to other parts of the country during the course of the year.
The ICRC has long supported the Armenian authorities in their efforts to help the families of missing persons. It currently provides the families with counselling and is working with a group of Armenian experts who are drafting a law to protect the rights of missing persons and their families.
For further information, please contact:
Ashot Astabatsyan, ICRC Yerevan, tel: +374 10 297 415