“This assistance was extremely timely and came as a big relief”
24 January 2022
"It came at a time where our situation was straitened, and it assisted us enormously.”
Last year’s Karabakh conflict caused many casualties, damages, and displacement. A year after the conflict, humanitarian needs persist in Azerbaijan’s conflict-affected districts. IOM Azerbaijan contributed to addressing the crucial humanitarian needs and building resilience of vulnerable populations residing in conflict-affected districts in Azerbaijan through the provision of multi-purpose cash assistance for a total of 1,500 vulnerable, temporarily displaced households within its project funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid. The most affected and vulnerable 330 out of 1500 households got the second tranche of cash assistance. The target areas of the intervention included, but were not limited to, conflict-affected individuals in Aghdam, Aghjabedi, Barda, Tartar, and other conflict-affected regions.
44-year-old Oruj is among those already supported with this assistance implemented by IOM Azerbaijan thanks to EU humanitarian funding. He lives in Xındıristan village in Agdam, Azerbaijan, which was close to the frontline of the conflict in 2020. His wife and four children (3 daughters and 1 son) went to Berde and stayed there until it was safe to return, while Oruj stayed in the village to take care of their animals.
Oruj’s 20-year-old son Tural has a problem with his hip bone and needs constant medical attention. Oruj works as an agricultural worker, but job opportunities are limited in winter. During the conflict, agricultural work was interrupted since most of the fields were hit by the shelling, so the family faced financial difficulties and reached a point where they couldn’t cover the medical expenses for Tural anymore.
Oruj says, “The war had a negative impact on our income. My son needs medical treatment for his condition, which I wouldn’t be able to cover without the cash assistance provided by IOM. It came at a time where our situation was straitened, and it assisted us enormously.”
The family received EU-funded IOM cash assistance twice. “Only God knows how difficult the situation was for me at that time, and this assistance came as a big relief,” says Oruj. He says all he wants is a better life for his children, but they still face many challenges. He hopes to get back on his feet as soon as possible and says he will always remember how timely and helpful this cash assistance was for him and his family.
Oruj’s son Tural had to drop out school due to his health condition. His eldest daughter still attends high school, and her family is proud of her dedication and talent. Oruj says: “Despite the difficulties of the war and the pandemic, she continued her education, and I hope she will succeed.”