Երեքշաբթի, 23. 04. 2024

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International Community Should Financially Support Armenia Receiving Asylum Seekers-The Huffington Post

The Syrian refugee crisis has been the subject of widespread debate around the world and in particular in Europe. While European countries agree on promoting European principles and values, the level of solidarity action diverges drastically from country to country, and the subject is often transformed into cold questions of refugee quotas and political bargains. In the meantime, unbeknownst to many, Armenia, a country of the size of the state of Maryland, with its 3 million inhabitants, has been welcoming refugees flying from war and persecution. In fact, according to the Economist, Armenia has welcomed the third largest number of Syrian refugees as a proportion of total population. “Armenpress” reports, Luna Atamian and Haygaram Nahabedian touched upon this issue The Huffington Post’s blog.

Since the start of the conflict, 17,000 Syrians have migrated to Armenia, according to UNHCR. “The Syrian refugee exodus has reminded Armenians of their own tragic history which explains the moral and historic duty of the country to open its doors and offer a safe place to those fleeing war and persecution.

The majority of these are descendants of Armenians who escaped the Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks in 1915, and were given refuge in Syria. Other minorities such as the Yazidis and the Assyrians have also found refuge in Armenia”, the authors mention. The Armenian Government is working to address the urgent humanitarian needs by offering a wide range of emergency assistance and integration projects. To name a few, the government offers free health insurance as well as scholarships, has put into place a simplified naturalization and accelerated asylum procedure and has facilitated residence permits. Moreover, through the “adopt-a-family” project, refugees are matched with Armenian host families who help them integrate into the social, legal and cultural life of Armenia. To further integrate migrants, the Armenian government established a micro-credit scheme in collaboration with UNHCR to help refugees create startups.

The authors of the article document that unlike Lebanon, Turkey or Jordan, Armenia has not received any financial assistance needed to pursue its humanitarian efforts. They state that the international community must provide Armenia with financial assistance in order to be able to receive and integrate refugees.

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