Armenia - Azerbaijan: calls for “humanitarian consent”

Volunteers distribute essential food goods Volunteers distribute essential food goods © Halfpoint via iStock

The blockade of the Lachin corridor has triggered a serious food crisis that has now lasted eight months

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is currently facing difficulties in bringing humanitarian assistance to civilians through the Lachin corridor or any other route, such as Aghdam. The blockade of the Lachin corridor was imposed by Azerbaijan in November 2022, and has been continuing to cause severe food shortages ever since. UN data dating back to May 2023 show that about 120,000 people, including 30,000 children, are in need of humanitarian assistance but the area is inaccessible even to UN personnel.

ICRC's humanitarian aid convoys are critical to the people in the area and their disruption is causing serious concerns about the worsening humanitarian situation. People who cannot help themselves, such as people with chronic diseases, the elderly, the infirm and children, are particularly at risk.

Tens of thousands of people depend on humanitarian aid arriving through these routes. Civilians are facing severe shortages of life-saving medicines and essential goods such as hygiene products and infant formula. Foods such as fruits, vegetables and bread are increasingly scarce and expensive, while some key food items such as dairy, sunflower oil, cereals, fish and chicken are unavailable.

The ICRC is continuing dialogue with the parties involved and is committed to resuming its humanitarian work as soon as a consensus is found to do so. The United Nations and The ICRC appeal to the relevant authorities to allow the restoration of essential humanitarian operations in the area. It is important to remember that under international humanitarian law, parties must allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid for civilians in need; this includes medical supplies and essential food.

 

To read more, please visit:

https://www.icrc.org/en/document/azerbaijan-armenia-sides-must-reach-humanitarian-consensus-to-ease-suffering

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/7/11/azerbaijan-accuses-red-cross-of-smuggling-shuts-road-to-karabakh 

https://www.losservatorio.org/it/civili-in-conflitto/in-focus/item/3956-poc-week-2023-dibattito-sulla-protezione-dei-civili

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