Planned Assistance to the Beneficiaries for July was Provided Despite the Difficulties Caused by the Blockade

The provision of food to the beneficiaries of Hanganak in July, as well as last month, has been delayed because of the situation in the Republic of Artsakh, which is deteriorating hour by hour as a result of Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh. Based on previous experience, the responsible persons of the organization pre-ordered the necessary products. It is worth noting that the store shelves are totally empty, and many stores have stopped working, so orders are primarily sent to state structures.

It is also noteworthy that the list of food assistance is often determined not by the approved list, but simply by the availability of certain products in storages. From the list of July assistance, the employees of Hanganak could hardly find buckwheat in the state storages, which they had to deliver to the office and pack for all 320 beneficiaries on their own. They also managed to purchase vermicelli, canned food, and peach jam directly from the local producers.

Thus, the list of products for July consists of a kg of buckwheat, a pack of vermicelli, a jar of canned vegetables and a jar of jam. Some beneficiaries, as usual, came to the office to receive the assistance themselves, for others, in particular, for 30 bedridden beneficiaries, the assistance was delivered to their homes on foot by the nurses and social workers of Hanganak and employees of the Elderly Home Care Center of the Ministry of Social Development and Migration.

As a result of widespread fuel shortages, the assistance has been delivered to beneficiaries in the Askeran region through friends in the last two months. All this is becoming “distorted standards” as a result of Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh.

The situation is more complicated with regard to medicines, as many medicines for beneficiaries are no longer available in pharmacies. The organization managed to provide about 60% of the beneficiaries with basic medicines, primarily diabetics and hypertensive patients.

If earlier it was possible to get some medicines through the International Committee of the Red Cross, now this opportunity has also disappeared because of tighter control by the Azerbaijani border guards at an illegally installed checkpoint on the bridge over the Hakari river.

In the Hanganak office, despite the difficult conditions, psychological group sessions continue. True, part of the group cannot travel long distances on foot, but the backbone of the team that has been formed over many months regularly attends sessions. It so happens that the main topic of the session is the discussion of the situation and ways to overcome the ongoing blockade. This gives the beneficiaries an opportunity to speak out, alleviate some of the stress, strengthen the spirit and boost morale.

On a concluding note, Stepanakert volunteers from a support group visited the Hanganak office and offered their help to deliver bread to the homes of the beneficiaries so that the lonely elderly would not have to stand in long queues for hours.