ANCA Criticizes Delays Diversion of Funds From Karabakh

WASHINGTON–The US Agency for International Development released a report to Congress this week documenting US assistance programs geared toward Nagorno Karabakh–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

The report–entitled–"Status of USAID Programs for the Victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Report No.4" covers the progress of US assistance programs–many of which will continue to be administered through 1999 and early 2000. In 1997 the Congress had approved a $12.5 million aid package for Nagorno Karabakh for fiscal year 1998–over strident opposition of the State Department. Since that time–despite the subsequent approval by Congress in 1998 of an additional $7.5 million–USAID has only now begun to implement $8.3 million in projects within Karabakh.

"More than 16 months after aid to Karabakh was first approved by Congress–we remain sharply disappointed by the extensive delays in delivering this Congressionally approved assistance–and are troubled by the continued diversion of this funding from its intended purpose," said Aram Hamparian–Executive Director of the ANCA. "Further delay and diversion–in clear opposition to the will of Congress–will only deny assistance to people in need and may ultimately harm the peace process and broader US regional interests."

The report cited several programs being undertaken with Nagorno-Karabakh–which include collaborations with the International Committee of the Red Cross–Save the Children and other international non-governmental organizations.

These programs range from agricultural development–to maintaining and enhancing healthcare facilities and services.

The complete text of this report will be posted on our website at www.asbarez.com.

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