For Immediate Release
August 21, 2007
1992–2007: Celebrating 15 years of nation-building in Armenia
ARMENIA FUND 1999–2000
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 1999 – 2000
Armenia has come a long way since the economic and energy crisis that hit the country after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Signs of a balanced, yet weak economic recovery started to emerge in 1999. Following the immense deterioration of the situation from 1991-1995, Armenia’s economy rebounded and grew at 5.7 percent on average from 1996-2000. While the implementation of economic and social reforms brought improvements, it had insignificant initial impact on poverty eradication across the region. This is where funds for reconstruction that came through grants invested by the Armenian Diaspora worldwide played a crucial role.
Armenia Fund, having developed into one of the most trusted organizations channeling development aid into Armenia and Artsakh, took on a strategic task. The organization expanded its operations significantly from 1999-2000, doubling the number of projects in education, public health and infrastructure.
If any large-scale strategic initiative is to characterize Armenia Fund’s achievements as a whole, the North-South Highway, started in Karabakh in 2000, will undoubtedly top the list. The $25 million highway that extends about 100 miles, connecting 150 towns and villages throughout Artsakh, took the name “backbone of Karabakh” and became a landmark undertaking. Embodying the united efforts of the Diaspora, the road symbolized economic revival and security.
North-South Highway — the “Backbone of Karabakh”
The Vanadzor School, the oldest and most famous school in the Lori Marz in Armenia, was adopted by Armenia Fund following the plea from Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian that the rebuilding of the earthquake-ravaged landmark institution be a priority. Established before the outbreak of World War II, the school prided itself in having among its graduates Armenia’s leading artists, politicians, scientists and writers. Although damaged and in need of repairs following its use as a military hospital during the War, it nevertheless taught up to 1,100 students before the devastating earthquake that rendered the structure virtually unusable. Armenia, a one-time country that boasted 100 percent literacy rate of its citizens, suddenly faced a disruption of its educational system.
First Day of Classes at Vanadzor School, 2001
Armenia Fund’s $650,000 campaign not only restored the existing infrastructure of the school, but also provided more classrooms, laboratories, computer facilities, a new cafeteria, library and a sport complex. More than 1,500 donors and supporters became part of this inspiring project. Impressed not only with the experience, but also with Armenia Fund’s “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” policy that required community involvement, the World Bank approved an Institution Building Grant for the Vanadzor School to establish standards of day-to-day management, principles of accountability, and a local governance committee, in effect a parent-teacher association, a novel concept for Armenia.
A pilot outreach program in 1999 was the Waterways Initiative in the Aknaberd village of Martakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. The village, mostly populated by refugees of war, had no functioning water infrastructure. Lack of potable water undermined basic sanitation and put the entire village with its surrounding neighborhoods under the risk of numerous diseases brought by contaminated supplies. Armenia Fund led an aggressive campaign, not only reconstructing water infrastructure but also cleaning the existing water supplies. Similar, but bigger in scope, water projects were successfully completed in other villages of Mardakert, Shushi, Askeran, Hadrut and Kashatagh regions, as well as in Stepanakert.
Waterways Initiative in 1999 provided clean drinking water to four major regions (each 8–13 villages) in Karabakh
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 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