On 5 April, the Inter-Agency Commission on Coordination of Syrian-Armenians’ Issues held its subsequent session at the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia. The session was chaired by RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan and held with the participation of representatives of government agencies and members of charitable and non-governmental organizations dealing with Syrian-Armenians’ issues. Dr. Anna Yeghiazaryan, the Secretary General represented Armenian Red Cross Society.
Head of the Division for Policies on Medical Aid at Hospitals at the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Armenia Vardan Vardazaryan delivered a report on the activities completed for organizing medical aid for Syrian-Armenians and the future actions. Vardazaryan stated that in 2016, nearly 450 Syrian-Armenians had been provided with medical aid. The issues related to medical aid and job placement for Syrian-Armenians were solved in a timely manner, and there were no mishaps.
Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia Tigran Khachatryan delivered a report on the training courses for Syrian-Armenian businessmen and the programs aimed at helping their businesses grow. The speaker stated the five areas in which the Ministry provides assistance to Syrian-Armenian businessmen, including the need to fund business plans, create a center for the production of textile and leather products and engage a person representing the economic interests of Syrian-Armenians within the council for small and medium enterprises adjunct to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
Director of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) Hans Joachim Zinnkann elaborated on the programs for the economic integration of Syrian-Armenians. He talked about the past and upcoming programs for Syrian-Armenians’ economic integration and the activities of the task force in charge of economic integration. In his comprehensive report, Zinnkann stated that the GIZ had created a database and a task force that includes representatives of 22 organizations dealing with the economic integration of Syrian-Armenians.
Program Coordinator of the Armenia Chapter of the Fund for Armenian Relief Maneh Khachatryan talked about the assistance that had been provided to Syrian-Armenians and the upcoming programs. The speaker also touched upon the educational, economic and humanitarian assistance that the FAR had provided to Syrian-Armenians and noted that the FAR had provided $67,000 in assistance last year.
Summing up the session, the Minister of Diaspora expressed gratitude to all the state, non-governmental and international organizations and institutions for their work. She attached importance to the Syrian-Armenians’ economic integration and asked all the organizations to set aside a certain component of their programs to help Syrian-Armenian businessmen. The Minister particularly stated the following: “We need to do everything possible to make sure the issues of the Syrian-Armenians are solved quickly and in a coordinated manner and make sure they settle in Armenia.”