For Immediate Release
December 9, 2005

Contact: Arpiné Kocharyan
Tel: (212) 689-5307


Over $7.7 million raised by Armenia Fund USA and its worldwide affiliates.

NEW YORK, New York - On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005, Armenia Fund USA’s fall fundraising campaign culminated in the traditional Thanksgiving Telethon. Originating from the California office of the West Coast Affiliate, and scheduled for 8:00a.m. to 8:00 pm (PST), Telethon 2005 was a 12-hour live broadcast airing throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and the CIS and the Middle East. Featuring leaders of Armenia, Artsakh and the Diasporan communities around the world, the telethon was aired east of Mississippi, in more than ten states - New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Florida, Illinois, Road Island, Michigan and Wisconsin. Armenian communities throughout the United States were able to view Telethon 2005 program which included cultural programs, interviews/speeches of Armenian leaders and entertaining programs and performances of favorite Armenian musicians. Armenian dance and music, as well as guest appearances of many well-known figures in the Armenian community accompanied the telethon broadcasting all day! Among the guests were Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Vartan Oskanian, President of Nagorno-Karabakh, Arkady Ghoukasian, as well as the primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic church, Archbishop Barkev Mardirossian.

The 8th Annual Thanksgiving Telethon raised 7.7 million globally. Major contributions were made by Louise Manoogian Simone with a donation of $1 million from the Eastern United States and Ara Abrahamyan from Russia with a gift of $250,000. The Toronto community raised $250,000. Armenia and Karabakh contributed about $1.2 million. The fundraising Phonathons in France, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal and Spain raised another $1.2 million. Armenian communities in Lebanon, Argentina and Great Britain raised $100,000, $51,000 and $31,000 respectively. Armenian communities in many other countries also contributed to the Telethon. Hrach Kaprielian from New York pledged $50,000. Donations received at the time of broadcasting from the general public and donors of Eastern United States were about $36,000.

Telethon 2005 once again demonstrated the support and great interest of the Diaspora in rebuilding the Armenian homelands through major infrastructure development projects and initiatives. Funds raised through Telethon 2005 will go towards the regional development program “Rebirth of Artsakh”.

Funds raised by Armenia Fund USA will go directly towards the Agricultural Initiative, the economic underpinning of the “Rebirth of Artsakh” Regional Development Program. The Agricultural Initiative is a
three-region project designed to develop the agricultural economy of Karabakh. Armenia Fund USA will share the agricultural component of the Regional Development Program - a strategic initiative that is expected to bring long-term sustainable development for the region. Funds raised will go towards establishing Agricultural Development Associations (ADAs) throughout the Mardakert region. These ADAs will set up facilities to own, maintain and operate various types of appropriate farm equipment and provide mechanized services to farmers, to work the land at affordable rates. The ADAs will provide a technology package including access to farm equipment (tractors, harvesters, haying) along with other support elements such as fertilizer, plus training in farm management and animal husbandry. The Agricultural Initiative for the Mardakert region alone requires $2.5 million funding to serve the region’s 20,000 population.

After secession from the USSR and its liberation, Nagorno-Karabakh has become an internationally unrecognized territory having no rights to official statehood. This considerably impacts the recovery efforts of an already war-torn region, as Karabakh cannot receive international aid from intergovernmental and regional organizations as the United Nations and the European Union, and receives no assistance from such specialized development programs as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank. Because of this, Nagorno-Karabakh has been left to fight for its survival alone in order to sustain the land that was liberated at great human cost. This is why the necessity of supporting the region has fallen on the shoulders of the newly independent Republic and the Armenian Diaspora.

The development support to Nagorno-Karabakh is on the agenda of Armenia Fund USA and its 18 worldwide affiliates. Let us hope that such major fundraising initiatives as Telethon 2005 will give us an opportunity to bring hope to people who await it

ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: ARMENIA FUND USA, founded in 1992, was the first of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 18 international affiliates and serves constituents in all states east of the Mississippi. As a non-profit, non-governmental, nonsectarian organization, the Fund represents all Armenian constituents.

Armenia Fund USA is the largest contributor among the 18 international affiliates - supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia and Karabakh, and having helped build 138 miles of roads, 100 miles of waterways, 36 schools, 3 electric transmission networks, 210 residential buildings and 15 healthcare institutions.

Armenia Fund USA’s Mission is the development of strategic socio-economic infrastructure in Armenia and Karabakh, focusing on major projects such as major highways, schools, drinking water to communities and humanitarian programs in education, training and medical facilities. The Fund has adopted a policy to go “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” to provide sustainability for projects it sponsors.

To learn more about Armenia Fund USA, please go to our website at or call us at 212-689-5307.
Armenia Fund USA, 152 Madison Ave., Suite 803,
New York, NY 10016