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Armenia: ICRC Helps Families Of Missing Persons Renovate Their House

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  • Armenia: ICRC Helps Families Of Missing Persons Renovate Their House

    Ashot Astabatsyan

    International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    Date: 24 Feb 2011

    Yerevan (ICRC) - Last month, the International Committee of the
    Red Cross (ICRC) and the Fuller Centre for Housing Armenia, a local
    non-governmental organization, launched a joint programme in Tavush
    province, in north-eastern Armenia, aimed at helping the families
    of persons who went missing in connection with the Nagorny Karabakh

    The families living in sub-standard housing are offered long-term,
    interest-free payment-in-kind loans to repair and upgrade their
    houses. In addition, they are provided with expert advice on
    construction materials and technological options, and with guidance
    in dealing with other practical matters once the renovation work is
    under way.

    "The fact that the families started rebuilding their houses in winter
    proves that the programme we set up responds to a real need," said
    Aslan Bzhikhatlov, an ICRC delegate supervising the programme.

    "Families of the missing persons are a particularly disadvantaged
    group. That is why we decided to do what we could to help them better
    cope with the terrible uncertainty they face in their daily lives."

    "This partnership is an opportunity for us to provide improved housing
    for more families," said Ashot Yeghiazaryan, board director of the
    Fuller Centre for Housing Armenia. "I am sure that as a result of
    our cooperation with the ICRC many families will have better homes
    in which to raise their kids."

    For now, the programme is limited to Tavush, but the ICRC and the
    Fuller Centre intend to extend it to other parts of the country during
    the course of the year.

    The ICRC has long supported the Armenian authorities in their efforts
    to help the families of missing persons. It currently provides the
    families with counselling and is working with a group of Armenian
    experts who are drafting a law to protect the rights of missing
    persons and their families.

    From: A. Papazian