For Immediate Release
August 3, 2007
1992–2007: Celebrating 15 years of nation-building in Armenia
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”.
— 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
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
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
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
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.