Armenian Americans are calling on the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress to take urgent action to address the pressing humanitarian crisis facing the Syrian Armenian community, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
Taking action via the ANCA’s website, local advocates are encouraging their elected officials to respond to two sets of priorities. The first, in Syria, is for the U.S. government to ensure that international aid actually reaches Armenians and other at-risk populations. Gaps in the delivery of assistance have left many communities – particularly minority populations – outside the stream of international relief supplies and support. The second, in Armenia, is for the Administration to provide direct U.S. support and facilitate increased international aid for Armenia’s refugee and resettlement programs. Armenia has, to date, received only very limited international aid for rental subsidies, social services, work-training, health care, and other basic needs.
U.S. assistance to Syrian Armenians has consistently been part of the ANCA’s ongoing dialogue with the Obama Administration on a broad range of Armenian American priorities. In Congress, the ANCA continues to raise the issue in the run-up to Senate and House passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 foreign aid bill. ANCA Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations earlier this year detailing Armenian American concerns. The House version of the measure, adopted by the Appropriations Committee earlier this month, spotlights the broader need to provide humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees. The ANCA is currently working with Senate Appropriations Committee members to address the Syrian crisis as well as expand assistance to Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia. Committee consideration of the measure is expected in July. Armenian Americans can take action by sending an ANCA webmail to legislators by visiting http://www.anca.org/aid.