A press conference was held at the Armenian General Benevolent Union’s office in Yerevan on September 27, 2012, announcing the details of AGBU’s relief efforts for Syrian Armenians. Mr. Vasken Yacoubian, member of AGBU’s Central Board of Directors, and Hovig Eordekian, Interim Director of AGBU Armenian Representation, led the press conference during which Mr. Yacoubian noted several actions already taken by AGBU towards these relief efforts. On August 3, the AGBU Central Board set aside $1 Million emergency fund for humanitarian assistance to Armenian communities in Syria. On September 7, AGBU issued an urgent appeal to Armenians in the Diaspora to raise funds for this cause. Upon this appeal, $150,000 dollars had been raised thus far. On the ground in Syria, through its district committee and local chapters in various cities, AGBU began work on providing vital necessities to more than 2,500 families in Aleppo, Damascus and other cities in Syria. “Taking into account a family of five members, we have provided each family with enough nutritional and pharmaceutical needs for a month. But the efforts do not stop here. The 1 Million Dollar fund that is now made available might be enough, if the fighting stops within a month; or it could be useless and we would be forced to raise that million to 5 million or even 10 million. Our organization is ready to take these measures, and we have foreseen that”, stated Vasken Yacoubian. In addition to the aid that was distributed, AGBU has begun to prepare its centers and schools for a possible deterioration of the current situation by securing drinking water and fuel reservoirs, and refrigerators for medicine and food storage. In Armenia, the AGBU is prepared to pay school tuition and monthly rent to families, who due to being unemployed, cannot afford to pay them.
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