Australia announces $500,000 in aid for Armenia

The Australian Government has announced an aid package of $500,000 for Armenia to assist with the humanitarian crisis emanating from the 100,000 Armenians who were forcibly displaced from Nagorno Karabakh following Azerbaijan’s indiscriminate attacks on the region, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

In announcing the aid package, Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed concern over the welfare of the 100,000 people who fled Nagorno Karabakh, and it was specified that the contribution will be delivered by UNHCR to help provide shelter and supplies to refugees and host communities.

Michael Kolokossian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), said, “The aid announced today is a welcome first step towards helping the Artsakh refugees. Having advocated for this along with our community and friends in parliament, the Armenian National Committee of Australia looks forward to further steps we’ve outlined, which are needed to make a lasting difference.”

“The Armenians who have forcibly fled Nagorno Karabakh did so due to active ethnic cleansing. Now, they face an uncertain future after enduring constant military attacks and dehumanization policies by Azerbaijan,” Kolokossian added.

While welcoming this aid announcement as a positive first step in helping the refugees regain their lives and find a sense of stability, the ANC-AU emphasized the urgent need for further actions to ensure lasting peace and justice in the region.

“The displaced Armenians from Nagorno Karabakh endured a heart-wrenching ordeal, marked by active ethnic cleansing and continuous military aggression by Azerbaijan,” Kolokossian said. “The atrocities they faced have led to an ongoing humanitarian disaster. It is, without a doubt, a modern-day tragedy and a second Armenian Genocide playing out before our eyes.”

“Australia has taken a commendable step today to assist in alleviating the grave humanitarian crisis that has unfolded in Armenia as a result of ethnic cleansing. However, the job is far from over,” he added.

Kolokossian called for sanctions on the unchecked petro-dictatorship in Baku.

“What we need to see now is sanctions. To prevent further violence – we need to see the perpetrators face consequences. Azerbaijan still to this day is yet to face any consequences for its role in ethnically cleansing the region,” he said.

“Sanctions are necessary actions to hold accountable those responsible for the violence and war crimes in Nagorno Karabakh.”

The ANC-AU thanked Foreign Minister Penny Wong, the Chairs of the Australia-Armenia Interparliamentary Union – Jerome Laxale MP and Paul Fletcher – as well as Shadow Foreign Minister Simon Birmingham for helping achieve this first step.

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