Ministry of Diaspora is ready to organize Aleppo-Armenian children’s vacation in Armenia

The RA Ministry of Diaspora is ready to organize the summer vacation for Armenian children of Aleppo in Yerevan.

Based on the information provided to the RA Ministry of Diaspora, classes and exams at Syrian schools ended on May 12. It is expected that schoolchildren and parents would like to organize their summer vacation in Armenia or settle in the homeland once and for all, as the Department of Media and Public Relations of the RA Ministry of Diaspora reports to “Armenpress”.

“Unfortunately, Christians are recently more at risk, and particularly the Armenian community in Aleppo.  Alarms have been received that Aleppo was in a blockade a couple of days ago and that food, water and electricity were extremely insufficient. Most of the Aleppo-Armenians were in panic and despair. The Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, under Ambassador Arshak Poladyan’s leadership, as well as the RA Consul in Aleppo Tigran Gevorgyan and the leaders of the community organization always provide assistance to the Syrian-Armenians. Based on our information, the Syrian-Armenians, particularly the Armenians of Aleppo have different moods. Some are thinking about moving to Armenia, while others are thinking about moving to safe areas in Syria or staying where they are,” as stated in the response.

The Ministry of Diaspora was also informed that there is an inter-agency commission, which has been established by the decision of the RA Prime Minister and is composed of representatives of all state bodies. The commission holds sessions on a regular basis, specifies the urgent issues concerning Syrian-Armenians and indicates the paths to solve those issues. “Recently, the inter-agency commission held a session and set the objective to specify the scopes of opportunities of every government agency that can be effective to support the Syrian-Armenians arriving in Armenia. Pan-Armenian and religious organizations, traditional political parties, charity unions and other organizations under the umbrella of the “Emergency and Recovery” community organizations do a great job to help our compatriots. The support to Armenian communities of the Diaspora is especially important,” representatives of the ministry mentioned.

Every day, the Ministry of Diaspora contacts representatives of Armenian diplomatic organizations in Syria, the leaders of the “Emergency and Recovery” Unit and non-governmental organizations coordinating the issues of Syrian-Armenians in the Republic of Armenia. “We also work with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Red Cross, the FAR, the AGBU and other pan-Armenian organizations. Those Syrian-Armenians arriving in Armenia will receive the same kind of assistance as have the previous Syrian-Armenians. Particularly, Syrian-Armenian children arriving in Armenia will have the chance to spend their summer vacation at camps set up through funding provided by the RA Government. The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Armenian Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of Armenia and other organizations have also expressed willingness to organize the children’s vacation,” as the ministry’s representatives mentioned.

As far as the evacuation of the Armenians of Aleppo is concerned, the ministry reports that there hasn’t been any offer from Syria, particularly Aleppo. “When asked what the Armenian community needs at this moment, the leaders of the “Emergency and Recovery Unit” asked for time to discuss the matter and submit their demands and suggestions. There is no doubt that we are ready to pay heed to their wishes and suggestions and provide solutions. Taking into consideration the difficult domestic political situation in Syria, we discuss every step and reach an agreement with the community when taking each step for security purposes,” the representatives of the Ministry of Diaspora assured.

The Syrian war has taken the lives of more than 100 Syrian-Armenians. Before the war, there were more than 100,000 Armenians living in Syria, and most of them (about 70,000) were based in Aleppo. Now, based on estimates, there are 20-30,000 Armenians.

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