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Commitment to North Armenia, Artsakh — Armenia Fund USA Newsletter 2014.1

Armenia Fund USA Inc.
594 Valley Health Plaza
Paramus, NJ 07652

Tax ID: 13-3696515

Phone: 212-689-5307
Fax: 212-689-5317

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For Immediate Release
August 3, 2007

1992–2007: Celebrating 15 years of nation-building in Armenia and Karabakh

ARMENIA FUND 1995–1996

NEW 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 international 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.

ARMENIA FUND 1995 – 1996

By 1996, four years after its establishment, Armenia Fund’s projects were already in full swing. These years were most significant as this was when the Fund’s mission and objectives were expanded to include major strategic initiatives in a wide range of areas – large-scale infrastructure, social and economic well-being, public health, as well as education and culture. Among the most important projects were “Zangezur”, “Artsakh”, “Earthquake Zone”, and “Science and Culture”.

Goris-Stepanakert Highway — the "Life Road" of Artsakh connecting Karabakh to Armenia, 1996

Goris-Stepanakert Highway — the "Life Road" of Artsakh connecting Karabakh to Armenia, 1996

Project “Zangezur” was a broad effort to reconstruct and rehabilitate infrastructure in the entire southern region of Armenia. The southeast was of strategic importance for the Republic, as it was the region immediately neighboring war-torn Karabakh. The influx of refugees into Zangezur and Siunik added to the urgency of the situation. The large-scale infrastructure development program initiated by Armenia Fund involved the reconstruction of Vaik-Saravan, Meghri-Kajaran, and Halidzor-Tatev roads, the Akner Waterways that helped provide drinking water to more than 50% of the region’s population, as well as the restoration of the telecommunication and radio networks in more than 30 villages.

A newly built school in the ‘Earthquake Zone’, 1995

A newly built school in the  'Earthquake Zone', 1995

Armenia Fund’s development activities in Karabakh started with a comprehensive program that involved upgrading waterways, roads and electricity networks in key settlements. Particularly noteworthy were the completion of Shushi-Karmir Shuka and Stepanakert electric transition networks that helped provide electricity to more than 40% of Karabakh’s population; the restoration of Muishkapat-Martuni and Marzket-Hadrut water systems that brought clean drinking water to more than 19 villages, as well as Dashbulagh-Seidichan-Kichan and Myurishen-Avdur-Hatsi roadways that connected two major regions with Stepanakert.

A bold undertaking in these years was also the Goris-Stepanakert Highway – a $7 million road extending 70 km and connecting Karabakh to Armenia. Often referred to as the “life-road” of Karabakh, the highway not only carried strategic economic importance, but also symbolized unity and strength at a time of deprivation and hopelessness. The funding for this landmark project came from the first international Thanksgiving Telethon that called upon all Armenians around the world to participate in Armenia’s nation-building process on a day when gratitude is celebrated. The Thanksgiving Telethon has since been a wonderful tradition of Armenia Fund and its supporters around the world. This year the Fund will air the 10th Thanksgiving Telethon, which will also celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Armenia Fund.

Armenia Fund's First Thanksgiving Telethon raised 7 million for the Goris-Stepanakert Highway

Armenia Fund's First Thanksgiving Telethon raised 7 million for the Goris-Stepanakert Highway

The 1990s were still years of enormous socio-economic hardships when any undertaking toward development had to start with a humanitarian approach to address basic needs. In these years of trial, however, Armenia Fund did not overlook the importance of supporting scientific and cultural projects. Implementing a program that ranged from a stipend fund for deserving university and high school students, to connecting Armenia to the World Wide Web and installing the national internet network, Armenia Fund turned each project into a renewed opportunity for Armenia and Karabakh. Under the auspices of this program, the Fund organized such competitions as “Talented Children” and “Young Scientist” to recognize and reward gifted young individuals.

A newly built kindergarten in the ‘Earthquake Zone’, 1996

A newly built kindergarten in the ‘Earthquake Zone’, 1996

Armenia Fund’s efforts were not restricted to humanitarian or development programs, but also involved such special-interest initiatives as “Republic of Armenia New Passport” or “Refugees”. Through the first program, the Fund generously sponsored the printing of passports for the citizens of the independent Armenian Republic and funded the installation of an automatic nationwide passport system. The project “Refugees” was launched to address socio-economic needs of refugees of war providing the most vulnerable with shelter and food. Armenia Fund also established a trust fund to provide continuing financial assistance to needy families of deceased and invalided soldiers of the Artsakh conflict.

By 1996, Armenia Fund became involved in almost all aspects of Armenia’s social and economic life bringing hope and strengthening the very foundations of Armenia’s statehood as the nation went through intense pains for survival.

Over the past 15 years, Armenia Fund has invested more than $170 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!

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

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