For Immediate Release
September 22, 2006
PARTNERING FOR DEVELOPMENT: ARMENIA FUND USA AND HEIFER INTERNATIONAL
TO IMPLEMENT A PILOT PROJECT IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH
NEW YORK, New York – Heifer International, an international organization
working with communities to end hunger and poverty through self-reliance,
will implement a pilot project in two villages of Nagorno-Karabakh
within Armenia Fund USA’s agricultural development project in
the region. Based on its “pass on the gift” principle of ending
global hunger, Heifer Caucasus has selected about 30 beneficiary
families to help them overcome socio-economic hardships by providing
agricultural inputs and training in farming practices. The families
will receive 30 Heifer-animals to share their offspring, along
with the knowledge and best practices, with other project participants
in 3 consecutive years. The project is aimed at improving nutrition
of communities in the remote villages of Karabakh and ensuring
food security of families that are mostly survivors of a military
conflict that ravaged the region in 1991.
Talish and Vank villages in Mardakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh
were selected for the implementation of the pilot project based
on the dire need of families there who are mostly unemployed and
agriculture is the only means for survival. The larger objective
of the initiative is to provide appropriate inputs and technical
assistance to more than 5,000 families by the end of 2010 and
help them improve their economic viability by at least 30% based
on environmentally-sound farming practices. It has been designed
to be easily expanded onto other regions in the South Caucasus.
The agricultural inputs provided by the pilot project include
livestock, seeds and seedlings, technical assistance on a wide
range of agricultural techniques, as well as project-wide trainings
on developing organic farming. Families were selected based upon
their size, social vulnerability, experience in animal husbandry
and other criteria.
Mardakert region has been a target of much agricultural development
activity since Armenia Fund USA launched the Agricultural
Initiative, an agricultural development project that is part
of a monumental effort to revitalize the region through an integrated
approach which touches all aspects of rural life. The regional
development program covers a wide range of projects in the area
of public health, education and social infrastructure essential
to life. Within the scope of this larger development initiative,
Armenia Fund USA established Agricultural Development Associations
in Mardakert to serve its cluster of 18 villages and support subsistence
farmers in improving their agricultural activities. Armenia Fund
USA’s partnership with Heifer to improve rural life in the impoverished
villages of Nagorno-Karabakh adds to the momentum of significant
development in the region.
Nagorno-Karabakh is located in the southeastern part of the Caucasus
Minor. The region is typically mountainous, and while the climate
is temperate and very favorable for agricultural development,
unemployment and food insecurity have caused widespread poverty
and malnourishment in the region. The project implemented by Armenia
Fund USA and Heifer Caucasus will help develop integrated farming
practices that will lead to secure food sources for the communities.
Addressing the immediate need of these families will lay the foundation
for a successful expansion of both Fund’s Agricultural Initiative
and Heifer’s pilot project.
ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: ARMENIA FUND USA, founded in 1992,
was the first of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 19 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 19 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 visit
our website at
or call us at 212-689-5307.
Armenia Fund USA
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 301
New York, NY 10038