NEW YORK—The ongoing and expanding militarized conflict in Syria has created a serious humanitarian crisis for the population and is threatening, among others, residential areas where concentrations of our Armenian community and institutions are situated, particularly in Aleppo, Damascus, and Kamishli. Several families have already been dislodged as a result of the fighting among government and opposition forces and the use of heavy artillery involved.
In preparation for the imminent need for humanitarian assistance that is emerging as a result of the unfolding political crisis in Syria, the Central Board of Directors moved on Aug. 3 to set aside an AGBU Emergency Fund for Humanitarian Assistance to the Armenian Community in Syria, in the amount of $1 million.
A special task force, in cooperation with the District Committee of Syria, is in the process of assessing the emerging needs, to create the appropriate logistics in compliance with federal and international guidelines, to help and support our community there. Necessary arrangements are also underway in AGBU’s centers locally in Aleppo, Damascus, and Kamishli to make them operational hubs for coordinating the relief efforts, extending help to families in other locations as well, wherever the need arises. They will also be prepared to accommodate those who may have to be temporarily moved out of their homes. The possibility of making AGBU facilities in Cyprus available as temporary shelter for families who may need to move out of the country is under consideration.