Norway provides support for civilian population in Nagorno-Karabakh

Norway is providing humanitarian support to civilians affected by the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. ‘We are very concerned about reports of fighting and attacks in densely populated areas, which are affecting civilians and putting humanitarian aid workers in danger,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh has claimed many lives, driven many people from their homes and caused great suffering to the civilian population. Norway is now providing NOK 17 million to humanitarian organisations working to protect and assist those most severely affected by the conflict.

‘We expect the parties to respect international humanitarian law and to take steps to ensure that humanitarian actors have safe and unimpeded access to the affected areas. This is crucial if they are to be able to provide protection and assistance to the many people who are affected by the conflict,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.   

Norway will provide humanitarian assistance to displaced children through its strategic partnership with Save the Children Norway. The support will be used to ensure that vulnerable children in Goris in Armenia have access to essential items such as warm clothing and to psychosocial support. Norway is in dialogue with the Norwegian Red Cross on the possibility of providing funding to support the humanitarian efforts of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the affected areas. Norway will also support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) emergency appeal, as well as the efforts of the Halo Trust, which works to protect civilians from land mines and other explosives. 

The conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh is rapidly escalating, with severe and growing humanitarian consequences. Humanitarian access to the conflict areas is limited. Large numbers of people have been displaced and this, combined with the Covid-19 pandemic and the fast approach of winter, is making the situation of the civilian population very difficult.

‘We urge the parties to observe the ceasefire and resume substantive negotiations. Norway supports the work being done at the international level by the OSCE Minsk Group to find a peaceful solution to the conflict,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.

The Minsk Group was established in 1994 under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The Group is working to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is co-chaired by France, Russia and the US.