Vienna, 25 October 2013 Press release

Austria to support Armenia in care for refugees from Syria

Vienna, 25 October 2013 – Austrian Development Cooperation provides support to its priority country Armenia through Red Cross and Caritas to help the country master the flow of refugees from the Syrian-Armenian diaspora that is exposed to multiple threats.

The crisis in Syria does not only affect its immediate neighbours; more distant countries such as Armenia, a priority country of Austrian Development Cooperation, are also coming under increasing pressure and have to cope with the inflow of Syrian-Armenian refugees. Before the crisis broke out some 100,000 people lived in the Armenian communities of Syria.

"The Armenian government asked Austria for help with accommodation and supply for families and we have decided to assist our partner country Armenia in this difficult situation and also to help the Syrian refugees directly", Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger announced today.

More than 9000 Syrian-Armenian people are currently seeking refuge in Armenia, half of them children. They lack food and accommodation, essential goods and necessities for daily life, and there is no work for them.

The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) will provide 600,000 euros to the Austrian Red Cross and Caritas as tide-over aid for families in need. The support will be coordinated with authorities and the United Nations. The aid measures are focused on refugee families in Yerevan and the city of Darbnik in the south of Armenia. Most refugee families come from Aleppo and surroundings. The Armenian Red Cross has been helping families since the outbreak of the crisis and will continue its support after the end of the project.

The 400 neediest families (some 1,200 people) to receive financial aid have been selected on the basis of transparent criteria, such as unaccompanied children, single elderly people, families with many children, families with old, disabled or sick members and single mums and dads.

By earmarking these funds, Austria has increased its financial aid for Syrian refugees to approximately 7.4 million euros.

Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3320
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213