Press release: Shelves ‘totally empty’ in Nagorno Karabakh as humanitarian crisis worsens

21 July 2023

The only road between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh has been blocked by Azerbaijan for over seven months. Trucks are unable to deliver their 400 tonnes of daily supplies. Vardan Tadevosyan, the region’s Minister for Health, said today that the humanitarian situation is now “critical”.


The shops are empty. Totally empty. Nothing to buy. The cost of a tomato is 5x more expensive in Nagorno Karabakh than Armenia. It is difficult to imagine that the shelves are full in Yerevan [Armenia], but empty in Stepanakert [Nagorno Karabakh]. Supplies are running out. Hospitals have no food for patients. People are being starved out of Nagorno Karabakh.


We have one week left of fuel supplies. Only 1 in 100 vehicles are on the road. Even the bread factories can’t supply bread because they do not have fuel.


Hospitals are struggling. Since the road to Armenia is blocked, we do not have enough medical supplies. Medicines cannot be imported. Surgeries are badly delayed. People cannot access treatments.


Azerbaijan has blocked the Lachin corridor and blocked the local people’s access to the Red Cross. The world is not with us. Nobody talks about us.


Nagorno Karabakh has endured many years of political turmoil and economic neglect. Two major wars erupted in the early 1990s and 2020, during which indigenous Armenians suffered attempted ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijani military offensives and grave human rights violations.

Since 12 December 2022, Azerbaijan has blocked the only road [the Lachin corridor] between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. The blockade prevents 120,000 ethnic Armenian residents from accessing essential goods and services, including fuel, food and life-saving medication.

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