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Rapid Response Fund Payment Request - No. 11/2012
Funds Sent To: World Council of Churches Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation (ART)
Amount Sent: USD 39,143
Date: 9 November, 2012
Details of Response
Emergency: Rapid Support to Syrian Refugees in Armenia
Date of Emergency: 08 November, 2012 (ongoing)
ACT Requesting Member(s): World Council of Churches Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation (ART)
I. NARRATIVE SUMMARY
DETAILS OF THE EMERGENCY
Thousands of Syrian refugees are pouring into neighbouring countries as the fight between Syrian Government forces and rebel groups intensifies. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported massive human rights violations in Syria committed by both, the Government forces as well as the rebel groups. As a consequence of the ongoing clashes, more than 1,2 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes over the past 18 months and 360,000 refugees are seeking protection outside the country (OCHA 2 Nov. 2012) putting an increasing strain on the governments and host communities.
The Armenian community in Syria could not stand the devastations of the war either and the number of Armenian victims in Syria is increasing day by day. As of 31 October, more than 40 families mourn lives of relatives and are left without the breadwinner in Aleppo. Over 100 families are waiting in the airport of the city of Ghamshly to fly to Armenia. The Armenian Church St. Hakob in Aleppo was burned down which increased the atmosphere of fear and distress among the Armenian community.
About 7,000 Syrian Armenians fled to Armenia (the number is still increasing) and more than 590 families have been registered in the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia as “families in need”. Among them, 90 families have filed refugee claims with the responsible state authorities, but in the majority of cases the arriving Syrian Armenians do not register by any entity as they consider Armenia their home country. Most of the families consist of 4-6 people. An estimated 80-90% of Syrian Armenians found shelter in Yerevan and its vicinity while the rest live in the regions.
Most refugees have arrived with limited means, not enough to cover basic needs. These who could at first rely on savings or support from host families are now increasingly in need of assistance. The situation is particularly dire for these who just recently escaped Syria to save their lives.
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