On January 24, UNICEF delegation led by deputy representative Silvia Mestroni visited the the Armenian Red Cross Society headquarters to discuss potential areas of cooperation.
Dr. Anna Yeghiazaryan, ARCS Secretary General welcomed the delegation, Davron Muhamadiev, Head of Delegation in South Caucasus, IFRC, and Hisham Diab, Programmes and Operations Manager, Armenia Country Office, IFRC also attended the meeting.
“Welcome in the Armenian Red Cross Society. We have been working in different formats and directions for many years. I highly appreciate the fact, that we meet to deepen our cooperation, especially during this challenging period, when joint efforts with partners can make the urgent response to the humanitarian needs of vulnerable groups more effective”, the Secretary General said.
Then Dr. Yeghiazaryan presented in more detail the challenges in the country in the last 3 years and the activities of the ARCS, including the response to the humanitarian needs of displaced persons and affected communities due to the escalation of the Nagorno - Karabagh conflict in 2020, when about 11 million USD was mobilized, then she presented the response to the consequences of 13 September military activities in 2022, and to the needs of people remained in Armenia due to the situation around Lachin corridor. She also emphasized the National Society's capacities of rapid response, mobilization of local and international resources, access to the most remote communities, network of regional and community branches, volunteer potential, transparent financial system and flexible accountability.
Mrs. Silvia Mestroni mentioned that she is very familiar with the effective work of the Armenian Red Cross Society, and it allows to go further with more comprehensive cooperation:
"We are planning to sign Contingency Partnership agreement with the ARCS, which will be activated in emergency situations by the call of one of the parties, we have also outlined the directions of cooperation, which we will present for discussion".
Mr. Davron Muhamadiyev noted that the Red Cross and UNICEF cooperate at different levels, nationally and regionally, and that the IFRC is ready to contribute to the development of this cooperation. The indicated areas are fully compatible with the activities of the Red Cross and the IFRC can provide all its tools for effective activities.
The Movement has its own Contingency Plan, which considers various scenarios, and it is of great importance to be prepared for emergency situations so that the response is more rapid and effective.
During the discussion, a preliminary agreement was reached, that the Armenian Red Cross Society and UNICEF will cooperate in the areas of provision of cash assistance, child protection, management of strategic warehouses and emergency stock, etc..
Mrs. Yeghiazaryan expressed her gratitude to the partners, the IFRC and UNICEF, for the initiative to establish a new format cooperation and for effective discussions.