Artsakh has been under blockade for 16 days. We tried to find out how our beneficiaries live and what products are available to them by visiting nearby shops and their homes. We walked into the first grocery store we came across. There were mostly sweets and some canned food. At the time of filming, the store received rice and spelt. We were informed that spelt is provided from the reserve fund of the Ministry of Agriculture, it is distributed to the shops in order to satisfy the population to some extent. There were no meat products and sausages as they are mostly imported from Armenia, but dairy products can be found, especially in the morning, since they are produced by several local dairies.
Dairy products were also imported in large quantities from Armenia in order to fully satisfy the population, therefore, under the blockade, dairy products in stores are scarce and run out quickly. During our visit, the assortment of dairy products was almost exhausted.
Meats: beef, pork, poultry, are available in stores, the local producer is still able to meet the demand of the population. At the beginning of the blockade, there were no problems with the egg production, the local producer was able to satisfy. Since December 23, because of the lack of feed for the chickens, the egg production has decreased. The branded stores of the poultry factory receive eggs every 2-3 days and sell 10 eggs per family , there are huge queues and it runs out quickly. Greengrocers are mostly closed, some of them are open and sell only pickles, pomegranates, pumpkins, fresh dates and greens.
We visited our two beneficiaries; Ira and Zamira. They live next to Hanganak’s office. Having learned that the nearest store received rice and spelt, Ira immediately left us at home and ran for shopping. Zamira showed their fridge: they still have food. She pointed that for now they are provided with vegetables and grains, but she was worried because it is unknown how long the blockade will last. The sisters mentioned that they also prepared jams and canned tomatoes for the winter. Before leaving, we provided them with the necessary medicines. In general, they are cheerful sisters, they say that they will endure, they will not die, until the Azerbaijanis leave Artsakh.
We also visited Raya, she had a heart surgery last year. Her first question was about the medicines she needed. Since she did not receive medicine from Hanganak in December, so she bought medicines from her pension, there is almost no money left, despite her savings. She didn’t know on what to spend the rest of the money; on medicine or on food. We reassured her by telling that she can already get necessary medicines from the Hanganak office. She was pleasantly surprised to see that we had brought her medicines. Raya was upset that she didn’t have vegetables and fruit, she didn’t manage to buy them, and didn’t expect that the blockade would last so long. She has a certain amount of cereals, but she does not have jams and canned food; she has not prepared them. She said that she had several bags of frozen green beans in the freezer. The food she has will last about a month. However, Raya was optimistic. She pointed that we will not give up, we will not yield, as we live in our country.
We will continue to visit our beneficiaries and show you how they are coping with the blockade. Follow our website and get to know the Artsakh spirit among our elderly people.
If you live in Artsakh, you are alone and need help, the doors of Hanganak are always open for you.