UN releases USD 2 million to support emergency humanitarian response in conflict-affected areas of Azerbaijan

UN releases USD 2 million to support emergency humanitarian response in conflict-affected areas of Azerbaijan
# 02 February 2021 12:34 (UTC +04:00)

The United Nations has released USD 2 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support the UN’s ongoing humanitarian response to temporarily displaced people in the conflict-affected areas of Azerbaijan.

Following the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement, UN resident agencies in Azerbaijan have been providing initial support in the areas of food, shelter, hygiene, preparation for winter, mine risk awareness, access to healthcare, psychosocial support, and education, “The CERF funding will scale up UN agencies’ ongoing activities to help the conflict-affected people return to normal life ,” said Ghulam Isaczai, UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan.

“We will continue working closely with the Government of Azerbaijan, civil society, and other stakeholders to meet the urgent needs of the highly vulnerable population, including women and children.”

The CERF allocation builds on the results of a rapid inter-agency assessment that the UN Country Team conducted in the conflict-affected areas with the support of the Government of Azerbaijan. The funding will help to provide shelter and non-food items to the affected population; assist in the coordination of demining activities; and deliver essential medicines and medical equipment, as well as mental health and psychosocial services.

The UN Country Team in Azerbaijan in partnership with government agencies carried out several preliminary needs assessment missions in conflict-affected areas and has been providing its assistance in the following areas: WHO and UNFPA have delivered personal protective equipment and emergency kits to families in conflict-affected areas, as well as supported the continuation of primary healthcare services despite the COVID-19 and conflict-induced strains on 60 medical facilities.

Shelter and core relief items: UNHCR mobilized USD 1.5 million to secure non-food items, including tents, blankets and mattresses, and is currently mobilizing USD400 thousand to provide as cash-based interventions.

Psychosocial support: Most of the 40,000 temporarily displaced people have suffered immense stress and anxiety, especially children. Given the severe shortage of medical staff and absence of psychology professionals in the conflict-hit areas, both WHO and UNICEF are training psychology counsellors to support mental health services at hospitals and schools.

Mine risk action: A joint UNDP-UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) assessment mission was undertaken recently in close coordination with ANAMA, the national mine action agency, to assess mines and unexploded ordinance contaminations in several of the conflict-affected districts. UNDP, UNMAS, and UNICEF are currently working with the government to improve awareness of mine risk; support the Government’s demining strategy; and strengthen ANAMA’s capacity.

CERF – managed by the Emergency Relief Coordinator on behalf of the UN Secretary-General - is one of the fastest and most effective ways to help people affected by crises. Since its creation, it has assisted hundreds of millions of people with more than $6.5 billion across 104 countries and territories. This would have not been possible without generous and consistent donor support.