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UNICEF Azerbaijan sends psychologists to war-affected regions

10 December 2020 11:24 (UTC+04:00)
UNICEF Azerbaijan sends psychologists to war-affected regions

By Laman Ismayilova

UNICEF Azerbaijan continues to support women and children affected by the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war.

Nearly 24 psychologists and social workers who received Psychological First Aid training are now being deployed to different regions affected by the recent escalation in conflict. So far, 10 psychologists have visited around 250 families, and identified 80 children now receiving additional counselling support.

One of the psychologists heard this from 14-year-old Tural, who lost his friend Artur during a rocket attack on Ganja:

Thepsychologists will also provide training to local psychologists, social workers and teachers so that more children can be covered with needed support. The specialized psychosocial support sessions for children are supported by UNICEF Azerbaijan.

Earlier, UNICEF Azerbaijan handed more than 210 boxes to the Management Union of Medical Territorial Units (TABIB).

Moreover, UNICEF Azerbaijan and the National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) also carried out a mine risk education project.

The initiative is aimed at raising awareness on the risk of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), especially for children.

Through informational sessions and child-friendly materials, over 2,500 people, including 453 children in affected regions have learnt how to stay safe when encountering ERW.

The organization has also released a statement on one month of fighting in and beyond Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Ten-month-old Narin; one-year-old Madina; Aysu, 8; Viktoria, 9; Shahriyar, 13; Artur, 13; Farid, 14; Fidan, 15; Nigar, 15; Orkhan, 16. These are the names and ages of 10 children known to have been killed during one month of fighting in and beyond the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. The names of an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl have not been released," the statement said.

"Over 130,000 people have been displaced, 76 schools and kindergartens damaged, and one maternity hospital shelled. Countless children are being scarred by the psychological impact of daily exposure to rocket and missile attacks in civilian areas. For children, this is the horrific tally of four weeks of fighting, and three thus far unrespected ceasefires."

For more than 25 years UNICEF has been working with the government and people of Azerbaijan to provide every child with the best start to life.

Its activities began during some of the country’s most difficult times, assisting refugees and internally displaced people from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and addressing the impact of economic hardships caused by the transition from the Soviet power to independence in 1991.

UNICEF now strives to build on the considerable progress Azerbaijan has made, economically and socially, over the last two decades. Poverty rates have dramatically decreased, child mortality rates have fallen, and primary school enrollment is almost universal.

The organization focuses its attention on those children who have not fully benefited from such advances. We work alongside the government, communities and families in Azerbaijan to reach out to those children who remain vulnerable or at risk, to initiate new approaches to child and youth development, and to strengthen the national capacities and systems that support children and families.

Being responsible for planning and coordination, management and monitoring of mine action related activities all over the country, ANAMA is the executing agency in Azerbaijan Mine Action Programme, the joint project of the Azerbaijani government and the UNDP signed on April 2, 1999.

The agency operates according to the state programmes, government tasks and ANAMA principles.

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