ACT Alliance Rapid Response Fund Payment for Support to conflict affected Syrian families in Armenia

by Elisabeth Gouel | | ACT Alliance - Switzerland
Monday, 7 April 2014 13:34 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Rapid Response Fund Payment Request No. 04/2014

Funds Sent To: Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation (ART)
Amount Sent: 55,000 USD

Date: 7 April 2014

Details of Response

Emergency: Support to Conflict Affected Syrian Families

Date of Emergency: 22 March, 2014

ACT Requesting Members: ACT Armenia Forum (ART, UMCOR, ECLOF)



A brutal three-day attack by Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and Ansar Al-Sham started in the predominantly Armenian Christian town of Kessab in Syria on 21 March 2014. Kessab is located 59 kilometres north of the port of Latakia and three kilometers away from the Turkish border. According to reports, the rebels looted and occupied homes and stores, tortured and killed people 80 people. The following day Syrian troops reportedly launched a counteroffensive in an attempt to regain the border crossing point. However, on Sunday, 23 March, the extremist groups once again entered the town of Kessab, 22 people were kidnapped and taken to Turkey, with 11 people being unaccounted for. The extremists desecrated three Armenian churches in the town, pillaged local residences, occupied the town and surrounding villages. On Tuesday night, March 25, Armenians of Kessab made an appeal to Armenians across the world for a call to humanity, help and action for saving their lives.

Some 670 Armenian families, the majority of the population of Kessab, were evacuated by the local Armenian community leadership to safer areas in neighboring Basit and Latakia.  About 40 families had to stay in Kessab, because of having elderly who were unable to move. An estimated 2,000 residents/400 families (children, adults and the elderly) found refuge in the Armenian Church in Latakia. People left with nothing but the clothes they wear, most of them have not even been able to take documents. The Church support will soon come to its end due to limited resources.


The implementing partner of ACT Armenia Forum in Latacia, Syria is the Diocese of Damascus of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Etchmiadzin (AAC). 400 displaced families of Kessab, in total 2,000 people are hosted by the Armenian Church in Latakia providing first aid and moral, spiritual support. Some first aid support has been provided by the Red Crescent. Nevertheless, the resources are insufficient as the concentration of the population in church area has generated a serious security, hygiene, water, food and nutrition problems and the affected people are in need of urgent assistance to stabilize their lives. An assessment needs assessment is carried out by the leaders of the Diocese of AAC in Damascus, Ministry of Diaspora in Armenia, local and international media.

The ACT Armenia Forum members had a meeting on 1 April 2014 and discussed different options of responding to the needs of the population. Based on the assessment results, the ACT Armenia Forum is applying to ACT Alliance Rapid Response Fund to support 2,000 displaced and other affected people from Kessab for one month with food packages of 1st use essentials, nutrition, health, water, and hygiene kits. The support will be given to the people most in need regardless of their ethnic, religious, or political affiliation.


The overall goal of the project is to contribute to saving lives of 2,000 displaced and affected people of Kessab, Syria.

Ensure food security and nutrition, health, water, hygiene kits and psychosocial support for the affected 2,000 people to stabilize their livelihood and to restore hope.

The work will be implemented by the Diocese of AAC in Damascus and the Church in Latakia. A group of trained clergy will provide both relief and psychosocial support. The humanitarian action will include the following activities:
1.    Coordination: ACT Armenia Forum will continue being in close contact with the Armenian Church in Syria,
2.    Preparation: Set up an action group (under the supervision of the Primate) for relief activities: An action group of clergy and a distribution point will be established upon the approval of funds in the lead of the primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus. The action group members will be in charge of organization and implementation of the aid distribution as well as other activities in the frames of the project.
3.    Purchase of goods: ACT Armenia Forum has planned to provide food, water, hygiene items and medicals to the 2,000 displaced people. The combination of items will cost approximately 25 USD per person. In total one month support to 2,000 people is therefore budgeted at 50,000 USD.
4.    Monitoring:  ART Emergency officer will monitor the project implementation in Syria.
5.    Reporting: The action group will report to ACT Armenia Forum who again will be reporting to ACT Alliance secretariat. The action group members will be responsible for biweekly reporting on the organization and distribution of the aid, providing lists of beneficiaries if possible as many of the displaced were not able even to pick up documents, pictures, financial and narrative reports.
6.    Psychosocial support: ACT Armenia Forum members strive to protect, without discrimination, the rights and dignity of the individuals with whom they work in an emergency response. The forum is collaborating with the Armenian Church of Damascus that will provide both material and psychosocial support.

For the full document, please click here.