International Medical Corps is responding to a crisis in the Caucasus, where a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh has displaced about 100,000 ethnic Armenians who are fleeing the fighting. With the conflict continuing and the weather turning colder, local officials do not expect displaced families to be able to return for at least the next several months.
Consequently, we are on the ground in Armenia assessing the situation, working closely with the Ministry of Health to identify current services and key areas of need, including:
- procurement and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), in response to the spike of COVID-19 that has accompanied the influx of people into such towns as Yerevan, Goris and Sisian;
- training of frontline health workers to provide psychological first aid (PFA), to build local capacity to meet the escalating needs of displaced families; and
- mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) for the elderly, women and children displaced by the fighting, including PFA for families with children, who are now largely out of school due to the fighting and displacement.
The situation in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh is evolving rapidly. We will keep you updated as the situation—and our response—develops.