Residents of the disputed, Armenian-controlled region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, are facing increasingly dire economic conditions thanks to a total blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes due to the ongoing hostilities, leaving many unable to work and unable to access basic supplies.
The blockade has crippled local businesses and brought an abrupt end to what was a flourishing economy. For those that have been left behind, desperation is growing. Without access to basic necessities and the fear of a prolonged siege, people are increasingly struggling to survive.
The UN estimates that nearly 500,000 people are currently living in Nagorno-Karabakh, including over 200,000 internally displaced persons. One resident told The Guardian that people are “starving to death”, whilst another that “Almost no-one knows what to do next. We just want to go home, but the situation is too dangerous.”
In an effort to alleviate the suffering, the Armenian government has sent food and medical supplies to the region. However, due to the blockade, much of it is unable to get through. Humanitarian organisations are also struggling to access the area and provide much needed aid.
With access to basic needs becoming increasingly scarce, and with much of the population in desperate need of assistance, fear is growing that the conflict could descend into an even more dire humanitarian crisis, if it is not brought to an end soon.