Y Care International proposed to fund two specialists to travel to Armenia and produce a definitive report covering possible routes for the shipment of aid. IRC was asked to provide a small support & communications team to help these specialists.
At the time of this mission Armenia was at war with neighbouring Azerbaijan and a devastating earthquake in 1988 in the north of the country had left over 25,000 dead. The result of these two events had left Armenians impoverished and desperate. Armenia is a landlocked country, whose main transport arteries ran through Azerbaijan; these had been cut, as had fuel supplies and in response to the earthquake, the government had decided to shut down the country’s nuclear reactor as precaution, a reactor that provided a third of the country’s power needs. Added to the Azeri economic blockade, the life of the ordinary Armenian became unbearable.
2 January 1993
In 1993 IRC were asked to co-ordinate the transport of aid to Armenia on behalf of Y Care, Oxfam and the Womens Campaign for Soviet Jewry. Items to be transported included food, blankets, clothes, medical supplies and a bulk storage shelter covering a 10 x 24 metre area.
Fax to the Director for Civil Emergency Procedures NATO, Brussels
I am confirming our telephone conversation on Christmas Eve concerning the possibilities of using N.A.T.O. aircraft for the delivery of relief supplies to Yerevan, Armenia, in the New Year.
The International Rescue Corps (IRC) has just completed a relief assessment mission to Armenia on behalf of Y-Care International (part of the Y.M.C.A. movement) and one of the recommendations of the report is to have an immediate supply of blankets and clothes delivered to Yerevan airport for distribution by the Y.M.C.A.
Discussions have also been held with Oxfam, who have shown an interest in the project, and it is suggested that if NATO can provide two C130 aircraft Oxfam will be forthcoming with the blankets and clothes.
One problem is the lack of fuel in Armenia (Jet A1) and it would be necessary for the C130’s to have sufficient fuel to fly from Yerevan to another country to refuel. The Armenian Embassy in London is also very interested in the project and the Ambassador has suggested that he will be contacting N.A.T.O direct on this subject.
The situation in Armenia is extremely grave and it is the opinion of all parties that such humanitarian relief flights would be of great benefit to the morale of the population in need.
Fax to YMCA Armenia
I have just had the following information from Harry in Tehran.
1) Confirmation has come from SATI International that they have the payment for the supplies
2) First shipment to be of 250mt flour (Y CARE’s 150mt & Armenian Aid 100mt)
3) Transport required for the above plus 50mt of Diesel
4) Transport should be at Megri for Saturday 27th Feb 1993
5) Other items should follow shortly after
6) SATI will confirm all the above to you.
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