YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Russia has allocated 10 million euros ($12.2 million) in financial assistance to thousands of ethnic Armenian residents of Nagorno-Karabakh who fled to Armenia during the recent war.
The office of Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan reported this week that the sum will co-finance the Armenian government’s ongoing aid programs for the refugees remaining in Armenia nearly two months after Moscow brokered an Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement to stop the war.
The government has helped the refugees both during and after the six-week hostilities that displaced the majority of Karabakh’s population. According to Grigoryan’s office, the government has spent about 15 billion drams ($29 million) for that purpose since November 16.
The aid has included compensations of between 250,000 and 300,000 drams ($480-580) paid to those Karabakh families whose homes were destroyed by shelling or who lived in areas occupied by Azerbaijani forces. On December 17, the government also decided to create temporary jobs for refugees, finance paid internships for them and pay monthly benefits to families in Armenia hosting them.
According to Karabakh officials, at least 90,000 civilians making up around 60 percent of Karabakh’s population fled their homes during the war that broke out on September 27. Most of them took refuge in Armenia. At least 47,000 Karabakh Armenians have reportedly returned home since the November 10 truce.
Later in November, the Russian government opened in Stepanakert a “center for humanitarian reaction.” The center coordinates ongoing Russian-led demining operations in Karabakh and is also tasked with helping to rebuild homes and public infrastructure destroyed or seriously damaged during the hostilities.