UN Refugee Commissioner, Diaspora Minister Discuss Iraqi Armenia’s

YEREVAN (Hetq)–Some 1000 Iraqi Armenian refugees have immigrated to Armenia’since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees in Armenia, Bushra Halepota said Monday in talks with Armenia’s Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobyan, reported the Diaspora Ministry’s press office.

A majority of those refugees have relocated to Yerevan and the Ararat region, according to Halepota, who said that the UN Commission for Human Rights is working with partners to implement a series of programs to solve the various problems facing the newcomers. The problems, she added, range from an unfamiliarity with the Eastern Armenian dialect to difficulty finding housing and employment.

She said language courses to acclimate Iraqi-Armenian children are being provided alongside efforts to reconstruct homes

The UNCHR received $1 million in 2008 to resolve these problems, Halepota said, adding that the bulk of the funds went to financing the repair of homes for refugees in the village of Darpenik and the Nor-Nork district of Yerevan. The UN also allocated $96,000 in the form of business loans to Iraqi-Armenian refugees who submitted the best business proposals, she said.

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