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

Armenia Fund USA Inc.
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For Immediate Release
October 20, 2014


NEW YORK, New York — Armenia Fund USA recently announced the start of the Telethon campaign season leading up to the Thanksgiving Day live broadcast. It’s the time of year in which donors worldwide show their support for vital initiatives aimed at making Armenia and Karabakh good places to live, work and raise families.

Official logo of the Armenia Fund 17th International Telethon

Official logo of the Armenia Fund
17th International Telethon

Last year’s Telethon raised over $22 million USD to launch the construction of the Vardenis-Mardakert Highway, designed to connect communities on the northern border of both Armenia and Karabakh. Yet in a departure from previous years, in which a different project is highlighted with each new Telethon, the All Armenian Fund and its affiliates decided to once more make this grand-scale project the campaign’s centerpiece.

Given the troubling twists and turns with Azerbaijan earlier this year, the border hostilities and geopolitical complications have put national security back on urgent status. It was decided that a second aggressive push to complete this massive infrastructure project was warranted.

Khoren Bandazian, the chairman of the board of Armenia Fund USA, put it into perspective by noting that, “Just as the Goris-Stepanakert Highway and the North-South Highway were indispensable to the national security and economic development of both republics in the early years of independence, the 117-kilometer Vardenis-Mardakert Highway will create access to a now isolated and vulnerable region. By linking these communities with a modern roadway, we will strengthen economic activity in the area and also fortify the defense of the region. That’s why we are asking our Eastern US region constituents to think strategically and act generously.”

The new Vardenis-Mardakert Highway on the map

Since breaking ground last year, the reconstruction and renovation of this critical route has been well under way. Earthworks are being performed simultaneously across 12 sections of the highway. This entails blasting rocks, leveling surfaces, widening roads and transposing existing engineering structures. In addition, crews are installing gutters as well as building embankments and crash barriers.

This phase is expected to be completed before the new year, which will allow for passenger cars to traverse from Gegharkunik region in Armenia to the Mardakert region in Karabakh. As a result, travel time will be significantly reduced and community interaction and cooperation can be facilitated as never before.

Construction crew actively building the road

Vardenis-Mardakert: construction crew actively building the road

Still to come are the final phases, including paving roadways and installing traffic signage, painting lane indicators and building rest stations. It is expected to implement these phases with funds raised during the Telethon 2014 campaign.

Prior to the broadcast, Armenia Fund USA will reach out to Eastern Region communities with a direct mail campaign soliciting “early bird” donations, which can be contributed by phone, online or by regular mail. These funds will be combined with those raised during the broadcast and included in the final tally to be announced at the end of the Telethon broadcast.

To support this effort without delay and to see the Telethon broadcast schedule and participating TV channels in your area, please visit Telethon page or call toll-free 1-866-446-6237.

ARMENIA FUND USA: founded in 1992, was one of the first of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund’s 21 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, 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.

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