Yerevan /Mediamax/. USAID Administrator Samantha Power said today in Kornidzor that it is absolutely critical that independent observers and humanitarian organizations get access and provide support on the ground to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh who still have dire needs.
During a news conference at the border section between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, she emphasized that there are many civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh who need to be evacuated and “their evacuation should be immediately organized by the Azerbaijani authorities.”
“It’s hard to hear, to see, everything that these families are going through. Many of them fled their villages under shelling. Many people who arrived here suffer from severe malnutrition, according to doctors,” she said.
Samantha Power emphasized that the displaced persons expressed their desire to have the opportunity to visit their homes and the graves of their relatives and that “freedom of movement is an absolute necessity”.
“I met people who do not know where their family members are. There are children who arrived in Armenia without their parents and it is very necessary for them to be able to find their families as soon as possible. Although at the moment our focus is on the basic needs of people going through deprivation, we must also address the medium and long-term needs,” Samantha Power said.
She noted that at the instructions of the U.S. president, she will speak on the ground with the Armenian authorities, non-governmental organizations and “most importantly, the people who are leaving Nagorno-Karabakh and are fleeing from that dreadful situation.”
“Given the scale of the needs that the people in Nagorno-Karabakh are facing, the United States will provide $ 11.5 million in humanitarian assistance. This assistance will be used to provide everything from food to social-psychological support,” she said.
When asked whether what is happening in Nagorno-Karabakh can be characterized as ethnic cleansing, Samantha Power replied:
“We hear from the witnesses stories about violence, deprivation, and fear of the Azerbaijani authorities. It is very necessary for us that the international community gets the opportunity to be in Nagorno-Karabakh, as at the moment there are still tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians who are in difficult conditions. You have already witnessed the collection of testimonies from people who fled from violence and deprivation, fearing to live under the rule of Azerbaijan. The priority for us at the moment is to provide the necessary support to the most vulnerable people, so that those who want to can get out safely. We have received very disturbing reports about actions and violence against civilians. The received reports once again prove the need to have independent eyes in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and it should be now,” she said.
Referring to the question on what steps the U.S. will take in response to Azerbaijan’s actions, Power noted that a wide range of possible steps is being considered. According to the head of USAID, both President Biden and she attach great importance to what consequences all this will have for Azerbaijan. The exact option to be used will be decided after the U.S. delegation returns and presents the situation and collected testimonies.