WCC to Aid Drought Damaged Provinces

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Armenian office of the Roundtable (RT) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) turned to the emergency office of WCC for assistance to the residents of the drought-affected provinces of Armenia. The Roundtable Chairman Karen Nazarian expressed a hope that the request will be satisfied and the residents of the regions which suffered most will receive flour for free.

The main objective of the Armenian Roundtable office of WCC is to contribute to the improvement of Armenia’s economic situation–to strengthen the ties between the Church and the people–to establish cooperation between the Armenian Apostolic Church and other confessions in Armenia. Recently–under one of the many programs of the office providing for small-sized loans to farmers another organization was founded – the Armenian branch of the Fund of Ecumenical Church Credits (FECC). The organization issues loans to the people who–for different reasons–cannot borrow at banks. According to Nazarian–the total sum of the loans allocated by FECC makes about $400,000.

According to him–humanitarian aid cannot last forever and it is necessary to use a considerable part of the aid for creating jobs and implementing development programs. The construction of a mini-hydro with a capacity of 900 kilowatts in the village of Erkon of the Sunik diocese is an example of such an approach. The hydro will supply energy to 14 churches of the diocese–thus relieving its financial situation. The profit gained from the sale of electricity surplus is expected to be directed at the expansion of the diocese’s charity programs.

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