The Aurora for Artsakh program ran in 2020-2023 and supported the projects mainly focused on humanitarian aid, healthcare, social development, infrastructure restoration, education, culture, and sport. In total, the program has helped over 150,000 people. The Aurora for Artsakh program concluded on June 30, 2023. You can find the final impact report here.
On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijan launched a war against Artsakh, which affected thousands of people, forcing many of them to flee their homes. The Aurora for Artsakh program was created in November 2020 to help the children and adults facing a grave humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of this attack. It was partially covered by the funds raised through the #AraratChallenge movement, a global crowdfunding initiative addressing humanitarian needs in Armenia and Armenian communities globally.
Initially set on providing urgent aid to the locals, the program was later refocused on assisting projects that support and facilitate the region’s long-term social development. In the course of the program, Aurora also used its established network to connect volunteers willing to donate their time and expertise with humanitarian organizations in need of assistance on the ground.
The Aurora for Artsakh program brought to Armenia and Artsakh several renown humanitarians including Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières, former French Foreign Minister and then member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, and Mirza Dinnayi, 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate and Co-Founder and Director of Luftbrücke Irak (Air Bridge Iraq). Those visits explored new opportunities to help the local population and supported Artsakh’s international standing.
In 2021, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative opened a new office in Stepanakert, Artsakh to streamline the program’s local humanitarian activities and strengthen its presence in the region. Security, social, and economic issues were discussed at the Aurora Dialogues event titled “Partnership for Artsakh” that was held in UWC Dilijan on May 2, 2021. The discourse continued on September 11, 2021 in Artsakh, where the moderators of the workshops held during the previous meeting presented the results of their teamwork of the last months and reviewed the new proposals for the Aurora for Artsakh program.
In December 2021, Aurora partnered up with UN Armenia to organize a fundraising Christmas Market. All proceeds, around $25,000 in total, were directed to the projects helping displaced people in Armenia.
Overall, since the launch of the Aurora for Artsakh program, Aurora has allocated $2,2 million to support 93 projects implemented by 70 local and international partners. This includes a $1 million grant donated to Hayastan All Armenian Fund to fund their efforts to provide support to those affected by the war.
The majority of people affected by the Artsakh war have benefitted directly or indirectly from one of Aurora’s projects. Many people have benefitted from more than one project before the program came to an end on June 30, 2023. For additional information, see the final impact report here.