Launches Website Highlighting U.S. Assistance Programs to Armenia

November 5, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Ordway was on Capitol Hill today to brief Members of Congress and staff about the current situation in Armenia, ongoing U.S. assistance programs, and the recently concluded U.S.-Armenia Task Force meetings, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The briefing, hosted by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, included the participation of Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), who was joined by Representatives Shelly Berkley (D-NV), Phil English (R-PA), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and a host of Congressional staff. Noting that Armenia is the second highest per-capita recipient of U.S. foreign assistance after Israel, Amb. Ordway explained that the funds represent “a very effective use of taxpayer dollars,” and that the success of the programs is “largely due to the Armenians themselves being such good partners.”

Ambassador Ordway went on to provide an overview of the U.S.-Armenia Task Force (USATF) meetings, which concluded earlier today. He outlined a number of issues that were discussed including the fight against corruption, law enforcement, banking sector reforms, international trade and energy. The USATF meets on a semiannual basis to review bilateral assistance programs and economic policy.

Amb. Ordway and USAID-Armenia Director Keith Simmons then answered a series of questions about poverty reduction efforts in Armenia, Armenia’s eligibility for Millennium Challenge Account funding, the Nagorno Karabagh peace talks and energy sector reforms.

New Website Highlights U.S. Assistance Programs and Successes

During the briefing, Ambassador Ordway announced the launch of a special section on the U.S Embassy website providing information on a broad spectrum of U.S. assistance programs in Armenia.

The website – www.usa.am/assistance – lists comprehensive information about U.S. programs carried out in each of the regions in Armenia as well as an overall listing of some 27 program areas of assistance, including those in agriculture/farming, banking, democracy development, education, social/health, etc. The launch comes just days after the Senate approved the fiscal year 2004 foreign aid budget, which includes a $75 million allocation for Armenia, $3.4 million in military assistance and a $5 million assistance package for Nagorno Karabagh. During the coming weeks, the Congressional appropriators will be holding a conference to work out differences in the Senate and House versions of the foreign aid bill.

“Initiatives, such as this briefing and the highly informative U.S. Embassy website, underscore the important contribution of U.S. assistance in helping the people of Armenia overcome the devastating impact of the dual Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We encourage Armenian Americans to continue to stay in touch with their legislators to support increased U.S. assistance to Armenia and efforts to promote U.S.-Armenia trade and investment.”


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * Email.anca@anca.org
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