The reopening of the road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia is an absolute necessity. This was stated by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, answering the question of Congressman Brad Sherman during the hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the US House of Representatives.
The congressman asked if the blockade of Karabakh by Azerbaijan could be considered by the USAID as a crisis, and what the agency could do to help the people of Karabakh.
Power reminded that the USAID’s partner organization providing humanitarian aid to Karabakh was the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), whose convoy had difficulty entering Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday. According to her, Karabakh should not have to rely on humanitarian convoys, and the reopening of the aforesaid road is an indisputable imperative.
Congressman Chris Smith also reflected on the ongoing blockade of 120,000 people in Karabakh by Azerbaijan and the humanitarian aid from the United States.
Power noted that food should reach the region via trade routes, but that was not currently possible due to the installation of roadblocks and checkpoints, so aid was being delivered through Russian peacekeepers and the ICRC—where possible.
Also, the head of USAID recalled that two missions were sent to Karabakh, and she called on the UN to send an inter-agency mission to the region to assess the situation.