ANCA Calls on Congress to Investigate Biden Administration’s Aid Blockade on Artsakh

National Chairman Requests Congressional Inquiry into Lack of Aid to At-Risk Families in Artsakh

August 22, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – In letters sent this week to Congressional leadership and rank and file members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Raffi Hamparian called for Congressional inquiries into the Biden Administration’s effective blockade on humanitarian aid to the Armenian families of Artsakh – an at-risk population facing aggression, ethnic-cleansing, the obstruction of access to food, water, fuel, and other vitally needed resources.

Citing the “Azerbaijani government’s ambition to see Artsakh’s Armenians starved out of existence,” Hamparian underscored that “the Administration has sent almost no humanitarian assistance at all to help the Armenian families living in Artsakh.” “America must not be complicit in the ethnic-cleansing of Artsakh by Azerbaijan,” he stressed.

The ANCA letter called on legislators to demand answers from the Biden Administration – via Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power – to the following four questions:

— What specific actions has the Biden Administration taken to help at-risk Armenians living within Nagorno-Karabakh? (Please provide programs, partners, budgets, deliverables, and other relevant information.)

— What specific plans does the Biden Administration have to help at-risk Armenians living within Nagorno-Karabakh? (Please provide programs, partners, budgets, deliverables, and other relevant information.)

— Has the Biden Administration conducted a needs assessment of the humanitarian crisis facing the Armenian population of Artsakh?

— What budget range does the Biden Administration consider sufficient and appropriate to address the humanitarian crisis facing the Armenian population of Artsakh?

ANCA activists across the United States have sent tens of thousands of letters asking their U.S. legislators to appropriate robust U.S. aid to Artsakh, using the ANCA action portal: www.anca.org/aid.

The full text of the ANCA letter is provided below:

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ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian’s Letter to U.S. Senate and House Members

Dear Senator/Representative:

I am writing to request that you investigate the Biden Administration’s refusal to provide meaningful levels of U.S. humanitarian aid to the vulnerable Armenian population living in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

As you know, the indigenous Armenians of Artsakh – victims of ethnic-cleansing and an ongoing genocidal drive by Azerbaijan and Turkey to drive them from their ancestral homeland – remain at-risk, isolated and effectively blockaded, seeking to survive without sufficient food, fuel, energy or other resources.

The Biden Administration has provided some token aid to Armenians driven from Artsakh into Armenia, and – as a result of Congressional leadership –provided modest funding for de-mining and UXO clearance. Consistent, however, with the Azerbaijani government’s ambition to see Artsakh’s Armenians starved out of existence, the Administration has sent almost no humanitarian assistance at all to help Armenian families living in Artsakh.

The Administration’s aid blockade stands in sharp contrast to established U.S. policy, which, since Federal Fiscal Year 1998, has provided tens of millions of dollars of direct aid to Artsakh, helping its peaceful inhabitants with maternal health care, clean drinking water, and life-saving demining.

In light of the escalating existential crisis facing the Armenian of Artsakh, I call upon you to ask the Biden Administration – via Secretary of State Antony Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power – the following four questions.

— What specific actions has the Biden Administration taken to help at-risk Armenians living within Nagorno-Karabakh? (Please provide programs, partners, budgets, deliverables and other relevant information.)

— What specific plans does the Biden Administration have to help at-risk Armenians living within Nagorno-Karabakh? (Please provide programs, partners, budgets, deliverables and other relevant information.)

— Has the Biden Administration conducted a needs assessment of the humanitarian crisis facing the Armenian population of Artsakh?

— What budget range does the Biden Administration consider sufficient and appropriate to address the humanitarian crisis facing the Armenian population of Artsakh?

The survival of an ancient Christian nation on its indigenous homeland is at stake. Congress needs to act now – demanding answers and delivering aid.

By all accounts, the Administration – under pressure from Azerbaijan – has effectively cut off desperately needed U.S. humanitarian aid to Artsakh. Without this aid, Azerbaijan will starve Artsakh’s at-risk Armenian population of food, water, and other life-sustaining resources. America must not be complicit in the ethnic-cleansing of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, an oil-rich regime that has received over $164,000,000 in U.S. military aid. Very simply, this dictatorship does not deserve a veto over U.S. humanitarian aid policy.

Please accept my thanks for your prompt attention to this ANCA request. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the Administration’s response to your inquiries and would welcome the opportunity to speak directly with you on this matter.

Sincerely

Raffi Hamparian
Chairman

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street NW Washington, DC 20036
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