April 14, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel. (202) 775-1918

Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Jackie Speier Backs Reprogramming U.S. Aid Package to Help Armenia Combat COVID-19

“It Makes All the Sense in the World” – Rep. Jackie Speier

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, has voiced strong support for reprogramming already appropriated U.S. aid to help Armenia contain the COVID-19 crisis, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

During an ANCA – San Francisco/Bay Area tele-townhall meeting with Congresswoman Speier, she responded to a question on repurposing Armenia aid from longtime ANCA leader Roxanne Makasdjian, saying: “The effort to redirect some of the $40 million that I was able to get into the budget for this fiscal year, is something that we will certainly pursue and it makes all the sense in the world, when you are in a pandemic like this, what’s the most urgent need? The urgent need is to provide care to those who are sick, to prevent those from getting sick, and certainly to test those who may or may not be exposed.”

An excerpt of the ANCA San Francisco/Bay Area is available at:

https://youtu.be/RU3Q40NoEl0

On April 3rd of this year, ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian called on Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to immediately reprogram $25 million from the Congressional appropriated aid package for Armenia as part of an expanded U.S. assistance program to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic with urgently needed medical equipment and supplies, technical assistance, and support for at-risk families. On March 24th, he formally requested that U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Lynne Tracy, expand support for the COVID-19 related efforts of Armenia’s Ministry of Health, the American University of Armenia’s Center for Health Services Research, and social service organizations like the Armenian Relief Society (ARS).

ANCA supporters from across America are advocating for expanded U.S. assistance to Armenia and Artsakh for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The ANCA has thanked the State Department for its initial $1.1 million emergency allocation, welcoming new aid and encouraging the reprogramming of already appropriated assistance – consistent with the forward-leaning approach of the European Union.

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The full video of the ANCA San Francisco/Bay Area tele-townhall is available at: https://youtu.be/_zz3_z614Aw

The text of the ANCA letter to Secretary of State Pompeo calling for the repurposing of U.S. aid to Armenia to battle COVID-19 is available at:

https://anca.org/press-release/anca-calls-on-secretary-pompeo-to-reprogram-25-million-in-armenia-aid-to-fight-covid-19/

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