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Armenia a prospective safe area for refugees

If granted special status, Armenia will get financial assistance

The Congressional Armenian Caucus and ‘Hay Dat’ Committee (Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)) have taken the initiative to confer on Armenia the special status of being a safe area for refugees.

‘Hay Dat’ is also referred to as ‘the Armenian Issue’ (literally translated as Armenian justice’). The ‘Hay Dat’ committees were set up by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun (ARFD) who deals with the resolution of Armenian issues. One of its major objectives is to create a free, independent and united Armenia, including the territories designated by the Treaty of Sevres.

Aram Hambaryan, the CEO of the Washington-based ‘Hay Data’ Committee, believes that Armenia fits the criteria of the special status of being a ‘safe area for refugees’.

“Armenia is a genocide survivor. Throughout history, the Armenian people were continuously subjected to mass deportation. Whereas today, Armenia has opened its doors to the Middle East refugees,” Hambaryan told the Voice of America.

The aforesaid idea has been discussed with the U.S. House members, who believe that in view of Armenia’s financial and economic problems, the country should be rendered financial assistance.

The Congressmen call on the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee to allocate USD 40 million to Armenia to support the refugees.

What makes Armenia appealing is not just that it ensures the refugees’ safety, but also because it develops real programs for their integration into the county’s social and economic life.

About 20,000 Syrian Armenians have arrived in Armenia since the beginning of the Syrian war. According to Hrant Mikaelyan, a research fellow at the Caucasus Institute, nearly half of the refugees who come to Armenia left their country due to the socio-economic problems.

In his opinion, there are no sufficient funds for their adaptation in Armenia. However, the situation may change if the country is conferred a safe area status and is allocated funds for refugee assistance. “The allocation of USD 40 million may help them a lot in adapting, or at least in solving the housing problems. It’s certainly very important how efficiently those funds will be spent.”

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