About 22,000 Syrian refugees live in Armenia now
YEREVAN, June 19. /ARKA/. About 22,000 refugees from Syria live in Armenia today, according to Levon Antonyan, the head of the Near and Middle East Department at f the Ministry of Diaspora.
Speaking to reporters today, marked as United Nations World Refugee Day, he said most of them are of Armenian descent. He also said since the beginning of this year 75 people have moved from Syria to Armenia. In his words, the low number of refugees is because of what he described as ‘relative lull in military operations in Syria.’
Petros Aghababyan, the head of a department on asylum issues at f the State Migration Service, said it has received this year a total of 52 asylum applications. Most of the petitioners are citizens of Syria, followed by citizens of Iraq and Ukraine. The bulk are Armenians by birth, but there are also ethnic Arabs, Russians and Ukrainians.
According to him, from 2000 to this day about 4000 foreign citizens have applied for refugee status in Armenia and some 3000 have been granted it. Of them only 75 people are not Armenian by origin.
Naira Marutyan, an employee of the UNHCR Office in Yerevan, in her turn, noted that a record 65.6 million people worldwide were forced from their homes due to conflict or persecution by the end of 2016. This included 22.5 million refugees, 40.3 million uprooted within their countries and 2.8 million asylum seekers. Children under 18 make up just over half the refugee population. More than half of refugees globally come from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan, which have been war-torn for years. -0-