Armenian Groups Ask Bush to Include Assistance to Armenian Community in Aid Package for Iraq

LETTER CALLS ATTENTION TO PRESSING HUMANITARIAN NEEDS

WASHINGTON–DC–Leading Armenian-American groups wrote to President Bush this week to alert him of the humanitarian crisis that Iraqi Armenia’s are facing and to call on him to provide meaningful assistance–as part of the current emergency phase of the US aid package–to alleviate the community’s suffering.

The signatories stated–"As representatives of the Armenian-American community–we write to you today regarding the tremendous challenges facing the Armenian community of Iraq. This community of more than 30,000 suffered terribly during the war and now–more than two months after the end of major hostilities–remains in a state of crisis." The leadership groups pointed out that "The Armenian Church and local community institutions in Iraq–despite their best efforts and the help of Armenia’s from abroad–find themselves unable to meet even the basic needs of the Armenian community. The network of social welfare institutions that have long sustained the Armenian community have been severely disrupted and can no longer care for those most in need."

"As a community with roots [in Iraq] dating back hundreds of years–Armenia’s are dedicated to the return of Iraq to the democratic family of nations. Unfortunately–in their present state–they cannot even meet their day-to-day needs. With a modest–yet meaningful–helping hand–however–we are certain that the Armenia’s of Iraq will soon be back on their feet and able to play their role in Iraq’s rebirth," stated the letter.

The Armenian-American churches and community organizations signing the letter were the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics–the Armenian Church of North America – Western Diocese–the Armenian Missionary Association of America–the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America – Eastern US–the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America – Eastern US–the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America – Western US–the Armenian National Committee of America–the Armenian Assembly of America–the Armenian Relief Society–the Armenian Youth Federation–the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association–the Homenetmen Armenian General Athletic Union–and the Knights of Vartan.

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