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Armenia Fund USA Inc.
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 301
New York, NY 10038

Tax ID: 13-3696515

Phone: 212-689-5307
Fax: 212-689-5317
Toll Free: 1-866-HIMNADRAM

[email protected]

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For Immediate Release
June 15, 2007


Celebrating 15 years of nation-building
in Armenia and Karabakh

Armenia Fund 15th Anniversary Gala BanquetNEW YORK, New York — The year 2007 marks the 15th Anniversary of Armenia Fund — a pillar organization created after Armenia’s independence and mandated with the vital task of uniting all Armenians around the world to direct efforts toward development and revival of the nation. For 15 years the Fund, with its 19 affiliates across the globe, has touched countless lives in Armenia and Karabakh. Combining aid, development and direct investment, Armenia Fund has engaged Armenia’s leaders, its people and the worldwide Diaspora to promote education, create jobs, improve public health and develop infrastructure, among other critical humanitarian needs. Today, Armenia Fund’s contributions to social and economic prosperity of Armenia and Karabakh are unprecedented.

The 15th Anniversary of Armenia Fund is a celebration of the past, present and future of the Armenian people. It is a celebration of overcoming challenges by working together. Above all, it is a celebration of humanity, courage and hope.


In 1991, after refusing to participate in Gorbachev’s planned referendum on preserving the Soviet Union, the Armenian people went to a national referendum with over 99 percent of the population approving the republic’s commitment to independence. A declaration of independence followed the vote.

With that courageous choice, our people fulfilled a historic dream – the Republic of Armenia, an independent state with all the privileges of official statehood bestowed upon its citizens. Armenians in Armenia and around the world, united in a historic mission of nation-building, pledged to support the newborn Republic. Despite widespread expectations for a smooth road to development and balanced transfer to an open market economy, harsh days awaited the Armenian people. The disintegration of the Soviet Union not only changed the geopolitical landscape of the region, but posed serious security issues for Armenia. The armed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which has not found a peaceful solution up to this date, triggered a war in 1992 between the two neighbors - Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The recovery from the disastrous 6.9 magnitude earthquake of 1988 that had left over 40% of Armenia’s territory devastated and taken more than 25,000 lives was still a day-to-day reality. With more than half a million people left homeless, the political instability both internally and externally, the economic blockade from the east and west and an on-going war made recovery almost grind to a halt. The situation was further aggravated by a deep socio-economic crisis when, as a result of the transportation blockade, most of the industrial activity within the country was shut down, factories liquidated and basic energy supplies disrupted. These and other devastating factors imposed a widespread impoverishment throughout the country, leaving many of its people with little hope and desperate for help. A time of trial began for Armenia, propelling the nation through intense growing pains as it fought for survival.

It was under these harsh circumstances that, by a special decree from the first President of the independent Armenian Republic, “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund was founded in April of 1992. Armenia needed to combine all efforts and means of the Diaspora and direct them toward rebuilding and strengthening the very foundations of statehood.

This mission was entrusted to Armenia Fund.

Initially mandated to meet basic humanitarian needs, Armenia Fund soon became the united voice of the Armenian Diaspora around the world. The aim was one – to correctly assess the core area needs for development and help Armenia stand on its feet at a historical juncture of nation-building.
The Fund’s first major initiative was the $22 million Winter Humanitarian Project, which alleviated pressing social needs, particularly providing heating and preventing a humanitarian crisis as a result of electricity and gas supplies disruption across the country. At the same time, the Fund initiated a house-building program following the Spitak 1988 earthquake, providing accommodation to those left without shelter in Gyumri, Vanadzor, Stepanavan and Spitak.

The Diaspora’s help to Armenia was not restricted only to humanitarian aid, but soon began to draw on major investments and a comprehensive strategy to implement grassroots development projects. A moral responsibility emerged, and many caught the vision - they could and would make a difference. Many non-governmental organizations were created with specific missions to address concrete issues. Armenia Fund USA, with its international affiliates around the world and with All-Armenian Fund in Yerevan, focused its efforts on providing sustainable socio-economic development through large-scale infrastructure such as healthcare centers and clinics, major roads and highways, schools and cultural centers, drinking and irrigation water systems, housing and more. Further initiatives of the Fund started to include more of capacity-building programs with a special emphasis on rural development and economic revitalization.

Over the past 15 years, Armenia Fund has invested more than $160 million in sustainable development in Armenia and Karabakh. This makes the Fund the largest contributor to critical infrastructure projects in all aspects of social and economic activity. Securing long-term development solutions, the Fund has had an outstanding impact on the lives of countless citizens of Armenia and Karabakh. Armenia Fund has evolved over the years into an organization that has an unprecedented track record of affecting change. In recognition to its development work, Armenia Fund was accredited to the United Nations in spring of 2006, as one of the most credible international organizations working in Armenia and Karabakh.

To recognize and thank the Diaspora for its 15 years of continuous support to Armenia and Karabakh, Armenia Fund will hold a 15th Anniversary Gala Banquet at the United Nations on October 6, 2007. Join Armenia Fund as it celebrates the tenacity of the Armenian people and strength of the Armenian Diaspora!


Board of Trustees: H.H. Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians represented by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America; H.H. Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia represented by Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate, Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America; Hon. Gagik G. Haroutiunian, President, Constitutional Court Republic of Armenia; Hirair Hovnanian, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Armenian Assembly of America.

Chairman Emeritus: Hagop Kouyoumdjian.

Board of Directors: Raffi Festekjian, Chairman; Khoren Bandazian, Esq. Secretary; Gregory Amerkanian; Linda Chirinian; Jean-Jacques Hajjar, M.D.; Sarkis Jebejian, Esq.; Barkev Kalayjian; Hilda Melconian; Kharen Musaelian; Artemis Nazerian; Tro Piliguian; Zaven Tachdjian; Kevork Toroyan.

ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: founded in 1992, was one of 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. 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


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