The Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia, the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Armenian General Benevolent Union and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner in Armenia have jointly organised a Workshop titled: From humanitarian responses to durable solutions - Facilitating local integration in Armenia of persons displaced due to the conflict in Syria. The meeting, held on 24 February in Yerevan, brought together various government ministries, civil society actors, international organisations and potential funders to strategically plan and coordinate efforts to help with the integration of refugees from Syria into Armenia.

The Armenian Redwood Project - a collaboration platform of various Armenian Diaspora groups -  participated with 3 members from California and actively engaged in the working groups of the workshop. 

 Photo credit AGBU Yerevan

Photo credit AGBU Yerevan

 

Raffy Ardhaldjian addressing the audience with a keynote speech for the strategic directions part of the workshop stressed the need for a comprehensive plan for integration.  A suggested sampling of policies prepared by the Armenian Redwoood Project were also presented to the attendees. 

Finally, the Armenian Redwood Project on behalf of its various Diasporan stakeholders, announced to the attendees that it was matching the UNHCR rent subsidy program budget for 2016 and collaborating for the 2nd year in a row with Oxfam Armenia.  The Armenian Diaspora's consortium's grant is aimed to complement the gap in UNHCR's 2016 budget. UN budgets have stressed across the region due to the unprecedented refugee crisis in the region.   A formal announcement on the grant will be released to the media shortly.