Armenia: Regional Limited Emergency Operation for Southern Caucasus countries impacted by recent conflict (December 2020 – May 2021)

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LEO approved by the RD in December 2020.

High intensity fighting across Nagorno-Karabakh since 27 September 2020 resulted in unconfirmed reports of more than a thousand civilian and military fatalities, with indications that most of the area’s 150,000 inhabitants fled. Fighting reportedly left extensive damage to infrastructure, roads and housing – and impacted supply corridors into the area. Populations arrived in Armenia and parts of Azerbaijan and are being accommodated by the local population.

As of end November, following the signing of a Tripartite Statement which halted hostilities, the security situation shows some stabilization. Some return is reported, though the timeframe for safe and large-scale return and recovery is still to be seen given the high level of infrastructure damage, continued corridor limitations, ongoing de-mining actions, the upcoming winter season, and capacity to meet needs of the returnees in the territory.

Currently, the UN does not have a mandate in Nagorno-Karabakh but is coordinating with humanitarian partners to assess needs and support delivery of assistance for any voluntary return to the affected area. WFP has also deployed emergency coordination support to Azerbaijan, where WFP does not have a presence, to work alongside UN partners to assess needs and reinforce food security coordination. Under its Armenia Country Strategic Plan (CSP), WFP will maintain its crisis response ensuring the basic needs of arrivals in Armenia, as well as their vulnerable hosts, are adequately covered.

The sub-regional Limited Emergency Operation (LEO) provides a vehicle to channel WFP’s support to affected populations to ensure access to basic food needs for civilians affected by the fighting, no matter where they are. WFP’s Strategic Outcome 1, aligned with WFP Strategic Result 1, will focus on safeguarding access to food needs of affected populations not assisted under existing WFP or partner food security programmes through provision of food assistance and coordination for an effective response. It will be delivered through two outputs:

Affected populations receive food assistance to meet basic food needs; and
Affected populations benefit from coordination and assessment to meet their basic food needs.
Based on the findings of assessments and the evolving situation, WFP will review planning assumptions for this regional LEO and adjust if required.

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