The Commission has announced an additional €3 million in humanitarian support to ensure critical assistance to the civilians most affected by the conflict in and around Nagorno Karabakh. This funding comes on top of €900,000 allocated since early October when the hostilities started.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The EU continues to stand by all the civilian population affected by the conflict. We are sending additional humanitarian assistance. I welcome the cessation of hostilities, which should prevent further human suffering. Nevertheless, I am extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation of the vulnerable people who are displaced and will have to face harsh winter conditions coupled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
This emergency support will help EU humanitarian partners to deliver basic assistance including food, and winter items, health support, medical equipment, and other essentials to those affected by the fighting. All EU humanitarian funding is provided in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
The recent military confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which started on 27 September, was the most serious escalation of the conflict in the last 25 years. Various violations of International Humanitarian Law were reported, including alleged targeting of civilian infrastructure or use of banned cluster munitions. The conflict resulted in hundreds of people killed and thousands wounded, including many civilians. In six weeks, the hostilities have caused severe damage to residential buildings and vital civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, roads or electricity networks, creating long-lasting humanitarian consequences. The clashes have also caused significant displacement of the civilian population due to heavy shelling. The EU is in regular contact with the humanitarian partners on the ground to coordinate the response.
The EU welcomes the cessation of hostilities following the the Russia-brokered ceasefire of 9 November agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The EU says the ceasefire must be strictly respected by both sides.