Inter-Agency Commission on Coordination of Syrian-Armenians’ Issues holds session

On April 3, the Inter-Agency Commission on Coordination of Syrian-Armenians’ Issues held its subsequent session at the RA Ministry of Diaspora. The session was moderated by RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan.

The agenda included three items. First, RA Deputy Minister of Health Vahan Poghosyan delivered a report on the activities carried out for the provision of medical assistance to Syrian-Armenians and the current problems. In his report, Poghosyan mentioned that since 2012, 1,128 Syrian-Armenians have addressed the Ministry of Health with health problems and have received free medical assistance, adding that 170 Syrian-Armenians have been provided with medical assistance in the first quarter of the year.

In her speech, Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan mentioned: “The figures are impressive. The number of Syrian-Armenians having received free medical assistance in the first quarter of this year is almost double the number compared to the same period last year. I would like to express special gratitude to the Ministry of Health for never creating any problems and doing a tremendous job. I would also like to express gratitude to the Syrian-Armenian doctors who receive patients and provide them with free consulting every week at the Center for Coordination of Syrian-Armenians’ Issues. I highly appreciate the volunteerism, which helps mitigate the problems in Armenia’s healthcare system.”

The next to speak was General Secretary of the Armenian Red Cross Society Anna Yeghiazaryan. She talked about the support that the Armenian Red Cross Society has provided to Syrian-Armenians and the upcoming programs. She mentioned that the Armenian Red Cross Society takes into account the flow of Syrian-Armenians and the need to respond to their issues and is carrying out several programs in collaboration with the RA Ministry of Diaspora, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as state and international organizations.

Minister Hranush Hakobyan attached special importance to the registration of Syrian-Armenians with disabilities, the sorting out of problems facing Syrian-Armenian children of different ages and high-quality psychological consulting.

President of “Kessab” Compatriotic Union NGO Gegham Sarmazian delivered a speech devoted to the third item on the agenda. First, Sarmazian talked about the past activities and upcoming programs.

Notable academic, educator and writer of Kessab, Hagop Cholakian, who moved to Armenia following the Kessab events in March 2014 and teaches at Yerevan State University, answered the question related to the current situation in Kessab and mentioned that 80% of the population of Kessab (nearly 700 people) have returned to Kessab after the liberation and are living in the town and the nearby 11 villages.

Summing up the session, Minister Hranush Hakobyan attached importance to the activities carried out by non-governmental organizations that do everything they can to help our compatriots and expressed the desire to see further collaboration between the NGOs and international organizations. The minister asked and urged everyone to be delicate and show a special attitude towards our compatriots, that is, the Syrian-Armenians, the Iraqi-Armenians and the Ukrainian-Armenians.

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