AGBU HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCY RELIEF PROJECTS FOR SYRIAN ARMENIANS ARE UNDERWAY (VIDEO MATERIAL)

 

From the very first days of the Syrian crisis, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) immediately has set out to help our compatriots by providing financial support, education, healthcare, food, housing, employment and social integration. The emergency relief fund of $1 million allocated for this purpose has far crossed the $4,5 million threshold during the last 5 years.

AGBU aid activities are being carried out in Syria, Lebanon and Armenia. Relief is being rendered mostly on the spot. AGBU local centers in Syria and AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund for Syrian Armenians are coordinating their humanitarian aid projects. AGBU Emergency Body has been implementing humanitarian aid projects in Aleppo, Damascus, Kamishli, Latakia and Kessab. Syrian Armenian families have been receiving the necessary food, drinking water fuel and other necessities. AGBU also covers the costs of medical care provided to the wounded, hospital services and medicine, emergency home repairs, as well as provision of temporary accommodation. Despite the war, schoolchildren at AGBU schools have been going on with their classes. Moreover, no Syrian Armenian student has dropped out of the college or lost an academic year because of the tuition fees.

During the past five years AGBU has performed efforts to help thousands of Syrian Armenians relocated to Armenia. Initially AGBU has compensated their rents, provided food coupons. Hundreds of vulnerable Syrian Armenians have received financial assistance for healthcare, medication, and emergency surgeries.

AGBU is also supporting the Center for Coordination of Syrian Armenians’ Issues of the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia by providing free office space at AGBU Vahe Karapetyan Center, as well as taking care of the operational costs. Given that thousands of Syrian Armenians had simply left their homes taking only the necessities, AGBU has regularly provided them with warm chothes distributed in coordination with the center.

With generous donation from the Cherchian Family Foundation, AGBU has supported resettlement of an agricultural community of 27 families from Northern Syria in Artsakh (Kashatagh, Ishakahanadzor, Kovsakan) by providing them with materials, tools and equipment to cultivate the land. The Syrian Armenians engaged in farming have accepted the AGBU endowment with great enthusiasm.

For already fourth successive year, the joint initiative of AGBU, Gulbenkian Foundation, St. Sarkis Charity Trust, and RA Government has enabled covering 70-75% of the university tuition for Syrian Armenians studying at higher and middle vocational educational institutions of the Republic of Armenia. In 2016-2017 academic year AGBU’s contribution has reached $181,000.

Medical consultation project launched three years ago by the initiative of the Center for Coordination of Syrian Armenians’ Issues to help the Syrian Armenians was given a new dimension and quality in December of 2016 when AGBU Claudia Nazarean Medical Center was officially opened at AGBU Vahe Karapetyan Center - completely renovated and revamped with high-end equipment. The Center offers Syrian Armenians access to free of charge medical consultations and primary healthcare services in gynecology, cardiology, ophthalmology, and pediatrics.

To coordinate efforts around “Medical Aid to Needy Syrian Armenians in Armenia” project, AGBU has recently signed an agreement with the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, Izmirlian Foundation in Armenia, Izmirlian Medical Center, the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia, the Center for Coordinating Syrian Armenians’ Issues non-profit organization, and “Aleppo” Compatriotic Charitable Organization. Based on the agreement, Syrian Armenians receiving free of charge consultations at the AGBU Claudia Nazarian Medical Center will be referred to Izmirlian Medical Center for the follow up treatment offered at up to 45% discount.

The AGBU projects to bring relief to Syrian Armenians are underway. Since the start of the conflict in Syria, AGBU’s assistance to Syrian Armenians relocated to Armenia has reached $1,5mln, with $0.5mln contribution only in 2016. Fundraising campaigns and events are taking place in various parts of the world to secure material and financial assistance for our compatriots. Various aid projects are in the process of discussion.

 

VIDEO MATERIAL

 

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