Blockade: Day 18

We started our visits in the second half of the day, because it is the last working days of year and we had to finish the delivery of medicines. There were many calls to the office, everyone was asking about the food assistance for December. Unfortunately, we did not have encouraging answers.

We decided long ago to visit Naira, she has been a beneficiary of Hanganak since 2020. Before the war, she joined the large family of Hanganak. Naira worked at the Republican Medical Center as a nurse. In total, she has 44 years of professional experience, of which 16 years she worked in a military hospital. Like many of us, Naira went through all three Artsakh wars, but she was also a direct participant in those wars. From the very first day of the third Artsakh war in 2020, Naira voluntarily joined the staff of the Republican Medical Center and provided professional assistance to wounded soldiers and citizens until the evacuation of the hospital.

While visiting Naira, we also provided her with medicines. Obviously, our first question was how she copes with the blockade. She mentioned that she has some food, but she does not know how much it will be enough if the blockade lasts  long. She hoped to receive food from Hanganak in December, so she bought less food. She said that the day before she was able to buy 2 kg of onions at Radik’s greengrocer’s, and 2 kg of flour at another grocery store, since they didn’t give more to the customers. However, she is not worried about the lack of food, she is more concerned that the war will start again. She knows well the price of war. Our land, she added, is soaked in blood, we have no right to leave it…

Then we visited Elmia. Usually, she receives 3 medicines from Hanganak as prescribed by the doctor. However, this time there were only 2 in the pharmacy, and not in a large amounts. She still had food, especially grains. Her relatives from the village had sent greens and Elmira was frying them when we entered. She has potatoes and onions, she bought the onions the day before. She  said that the food received from Hanganak is enough for the whole month. She had tea, but the oil ran out, she said that when the oil and tea are over, she realizes that it is time to receive food from Hanganak. We had no encouraging news, so we said that we would probably only be able to provide food in early January. Like the rest of our beneficiaries, Elmira is not worried about the lack of food.

The people of Artsakh are strong,- she says,- we will withstand everything, but we will never leave our homeland, we were born here and will live here until the end of our lives.