Red Cross Assists Stranded Residents In 'Deserted' Karabakh Capital


(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Pусский (ru) МККК помогает тем, кто еще остаётся в Степанакерте

“It's a surreal scene,” ICRC team lead Marco Succi told reporters on Tuesday.

“The city is rather deserted” but there are still humanitarian needs,” he explained from the region.

Only a few hundred people remain in the Karabakh capital, known as Stepanakert by Armenia and Khankendi by Azerbaijan.

“We are trying to find those who are in extreme need of care,” either in terms of medicines or mental health, he added.

+ Red Cross sends humanitarian convoys to Karabakh

Electricity still works and people have access to water, although it is difficult to assess its quality. The ICRC is to provide 300 portions of food available from the Armenian town of Goris.

Azerbaijani police are already patrolling the region, which was previously populated almost entirely by Armenians.“We are not currently facing any significant security problems,” said Succi, who oversees 20 to 25 people in the region.

+ Funding gap: ICRC calls on big donors to step up

The ICRC carries out medical evacuations and is also ready to play its role as intermediary if requested to guarantee safe passage for other people.

But Succi refuses to comment on possible ICRC visits to detainees. The president of the separatist Armenian republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was arrested after the capitulation to Azerbaijan.“All observations on people and their conditions are shared confidentially with the authorities,” the ICRC official said.

On the Armenian side, over 100,000 people have arrived in recent days in Goris and the surrounding region.

An official from the World Health Organization (WHO) commented that“the extent of the crisis is too great” for the Armenian government. The Geneva-based institution has extended its assistance for a week and its regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, is due to arrive in Yerevan on Wednesday to assess the situation.

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