International humanitarian organisations call for humanitarian access to Nagorno-Karabakh and warn of a looming humanitarian disasterPublished: Aug 3, 2023 Reading time: 2 minutes
International humanitarian organisations call for humanitarian access to Nagorno-Karabakh and warn of a looming humanitarian disaster.
People in Need, Action Against Hunger, and Medecins du Monde France are concerned that the continued blockade of the Lachin corridor further threatens the health and lives of 120,000 civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The corridor use has been blocked since December 12, 2022, and further tightened on June 15, 2023, following the suspension of the ICRC operation. The ICRC was the last international organisation to transport vulnerable people and humanitarian goods between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. As of today, no goods or individuals are allowed in or out of the region. Almost 8-month-long blockade has resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis, endangering civilians through shortages of vital goods like food, medicine, energy, and fuel. Regular disruption in energy supplies impacts the operation of health facilities, schools, and kindergartens. In addition, continuous tensions, violence, political instability and deteriorating security have increased the population's uncertainty and anxiety, exacerbating mental health problems.
Humanitarian access to Nagorno-Karabakh is essential to meet basic civilian needs and prevent the situation from deteriorating further. Hundreds of people have been prevented from returning to their homes due to security reasons. The blockade also impacts agricultural and other works for people's livelihoods, severely affecting the income of thousands of households.
We call for the fulfilment of the International Court of Justice order issued on 22 February 2023, to guarantee the freedom and security of movement along the Lachin corridor in Nagorno-Karabakh. The safe and unhindered passage of goods (food, hygiene items, medicine, fuel) and free movement of the population, including the patients who need critical medical care, must be ensured by all parties per international humanitarian law. We call on the international community to act urgently to prevent the current situation from developing into a full-scale humanitarian disaster.
List of signatories:
People in Need
Action Against Hunger
Medecins du Monde France