Governor Says Earthquake Zone Will Be Restored By 2003

GYUMRI (Armenpress)–Governor of the Armenian province of Shirak–Felix Pirumian hopes that a comprehensive government program for restoration of the 1988 earthquake zone will finally be completed 13 years after the earthquake.

"Thousands of residents in the northern Armenian regions who suffered from the quake and who still are residing in temporary dwellings will have apartmen’s. The towns and villages will have educational establishmen’s–health and other infrastructures. The program also includes an extensive set of actions aimed at restoration of industrial potential," said Felix Pirumian during a news conference on August 14.

Nearly 76 billion drams are needed in the province of Shirak alone. The housing problem is supposed to be resolved by three main financing sources–including a USAID supported program for the Purchase of Apartmen’s program–which will help purchase 5,400 apartmen’s. A testing phase of the program was carried out and according to local authorities and USAID experts the testing yielded positive results.

The second source of financial aid is the Lincy Foundation–which provided $15 million for the restoration of 16 partly destroyed blocks of apartmen’s. The fund is expected to double for the next year.

The rest of the funds are to come from the state budget. To avoid revision of the already earmarked sums–the government has decided to direct money received from privatization of state-owned companies and enterprises to this program. Another source is John Huntsman’s donation of $5 million.

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