Bipartisan Congressional Armenian Caucus Appeals to Secretary Blinken and Samantha Power for Urgent Humanitarian Aid to Assist Over 100,000 Refugees in Armenia

In a bipartisan effort led by Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), a bipartisan letter was initiated with the involvement of Rep. David Valadao, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Brad Sherman, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, and Rep. Jim Costa. The letter urges Secretary Blinken and Samantha Power to allocate humanitarian funding to address the critical needs of more than 100,000 Armenian refugees from Artsakh.

The letter states the following:

Dear Secretary Blinken and Administrator Power:

We urge you to direct humanitarian funding to help address the dire needs of more than 100,000 refugees in Armenia.

Azerbaijan launched a deadly, unprovoked military attack on Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) on September 19. forcing over 100,000 ethnic Armenians to flee to safety in neighboring Armenia. The resulting humanitarian crisis requires Armenia to deploy significant resources to feed, house, and provide medical care for this rapid influx of forcibly displaced people.

We appreciate the diplomatic engagement shown by Administrator Power in your recent visit to Yerevan and the American pledge of $15.5 million in humanitarian aid. The Armenian government is admirably using that aid to help fulfill its commitment to these vulnerable people, but significant additional assistance is required to continue meeting immediate and long-term needs of such a large group of refugees.

It is essential that the United States provide additional robust humanitarian assistance to Armenia. This funding will enable Armenia, a democratic country, whose foreign policy has made a sharp turn to the West and away from Russia, to provide critical aid to the new refugee population, help families rebuild their lives after they were violently forced out of their historic homeland, and develop support programs that will allow them to live safe, productive lives.

To achieve these humanitarian goals the Armenian government has identified costs for refugee housing , employment, health care, education, social protection, and other related programs. We understand that the Armenian government has relayed the details of these programs to the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development.

We urge you to take these humanitarian requirements and the consequences of inaction into consideration. Assistance from the United States in contributing toward refugee humanitarian aid will have the dual impact of fulfilling the critical needs of a suffering people an d bolstering America’s standing in Armenia and throughout the Caucasus region.

We also request that you continue demonstrating U.S. global leadership and upholding American values. We appreciate your consideration of these requests and look forward to your response.