Skip to main content

Why we’re launching an Emergency Response Fund to support local Armenian peacebuilders


Peace Direct has launched an Emergency Response Fund to support Lida, the Crisis Group, and all those who have been forced to flee their homes. The donations will be used to support these five organisations in their relief efforts and to help those who have fled to begin building a life in Armenia.

  • Published

    5 October 2023
  • Written by

    Ruth Mileham

On 19 September 2023, Azerbaijan launched an offensive in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, endangering the lives of the 120,000 ethnic Armenians who live there.  

Nagorno-Karabakh had previously endured a 9-month-long blockade imposed by Azerbaijani authorities resulting in a humanitarian and human rights crisis. The Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh was already facing a growing humanitarian crisis when the invasion happened, leaving people with no choice but to flee their homes. In addition to the conflict, an explosion took place at a fuel storage depot, killing 170 people, injuring 300 and over 100 people are missing.

100,632 people have now fled Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia seeking safety. While the Armenian Government and various organisations are working hard to support these people, they are facing food shortages, scarcity of essential products and lack of permanent shelter and an ever-growing humanitarian crisis. 

Our colleague, Lida, is one of the co-creators of our upcoming Global Campaign, and an active peacebuilder in the region. She’s the co-founder of Women’s Agenda, an Armenian-based peacebuilding and advocacy organisation that supports women to build peaceful communities. Lida and Women’s Agenda have rapidly responded to this escalating crisis, joining a Crisis Group with four other civil society organisations to support those forced to flee to Armenia. Women’s Agenda will also work to continue building long-term, sustainable peace, coordinating the Crisis Group’s efforts to prevent any potential conflict escalation. Lida explains why the work of this Crisis Group is so vital:

“The local peacebuilding organisations stand close to the forcibly displaced communities and are flexible and quick in delivering humanitarian and trauma-informed support. We not only address the immediate needs of the displaced people but also develop long-term crisis response and peacebuilding mechanisms.”

Peace Direct has launched an Emergency Response Fund to support Lida, the Crisis Group, and all those who have been forced to flee their homes. Peace Direct is pledging a grant of $5,000 to this fund. In line with our values and mission, the funding will be unrestricted, meaning that the Crisis Group will be free to use it however they believe is best.

Please donate today to support this Emergency Response Fund and help those forced to flee.


The donations will be used to support all five members of the Crisis Group in their relief efforts and to help those who have fled to begin building a life in Armenia. More specifically: 

  • Sose Women’s Issues NGO will support those forcibly displaced with essential items such as food, beds, medicines and menstrual products. 
  • Women’s Center Shushi will mobilise a team of psychologists to provide much needed support to those facing shock, stress and trauma. 
  • FemForward will lead efforts in securing housing for those who have fled, supporting with associated costs such as utilities. 
  • Frontline Youth Network will support local governments in their capacity to provide gender and conflict sensitive services and their integration into communities. 
  • Women’s Agenda will engage a team of social workers to support the needs of families throughout their relocations, including access to education or employment and overcoming dialect barriers. 

At Peace Direct, we are glad to be able to support our partners and local peacebuilders in emergencies such as this and want to ensure the funds can be used efficiently and effectively. The funding will be flexible and free of the arduous red tape that typically delays international funding.

These five organisations know the local needs best and this type of funding allows them to focus on the issue at hand and resourcefully continue their life-saving work.

Across our partnerships, Peace Direct is committed to offering this kind of funding wherever possible. We believe that for peacebuilding to be sustainable, funders should avoid the typical restrictions imposed with international, institutional funds and instead give local actors the freedom to utilise funds in the most effective way. This decision is a result of extensive research, as published in Transforming Partnerships in International Cooperation, Race, Power and Peacebuilding and Time to Decolonise Aid. 

If you’re able, please consider making a one-off donation to the Emergency Response Fund. To help local Armenian Peacebuilders build a more peaceful, sustainable future for their country.


Learn more about the crisis: 

Azerbaijan have since declared that the region of Nagorno-Karabakh will be officially dissolved from January 1st 2024. 

Armenians rush to help ‘brothers and sisters’. 

Azerbaijan rejects fears of ethnic cleansing despite panic in Nagorno-Karabakh. 


Discover more