The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been granted access to border areas and Nagorno-Karabakh’s territory both by the Armenian and the Azerbaijani sides, Head of ICRC Regional Delegation for Russia, Belarus, and Moldova Ikhtiyar Aslanov said in an interview with TASS.
“One important issue for us is access from the point of view of security. As you know, the situation develops differently, especially along the international border between Azerbaijan and Armenia. And one of the most important matters for us is the security of our colleagues who may work there,” he said. “We have access from both Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
He noted that the ICRC is one of the few international organizations working in this region. “And we did not stop our work during the escalation of the conflict. We continue it today. Naturally, the situation is changing and people’s needs are changing along with it. And based on this situation, we change our programs and approaches,” he said.
According to Aslanov, Red Cross employees are now addressing long-term issues, whereas urgent humanitarian problems were the focus during the hostilities. In particular, these problems included the search for the bodies of those killed, satisfying the needs of refugees and displaced persons, ensuring water and medicines supplies. "And this work continues. Since last year, we have increased our budget in the region - it is around 45 million Swiss francs to organize our humanitarian activities. The number of our employees - both international and local staff - in this region has also been increased,” he said.