The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) – which has, since the start of the COVID-19 crisis – consistently advocated for the reprogramming of the U.S. aid program to help Armenia deal with this health emergency– welcomed formal confirmation that the U.S. State Department has directed the U.S. Embassy in Armenia to examine how existing assistance programs can be adjusted to match Armenia’s priority needs in the midst of this pandemic.
“We welcome, as a first step, our Department of State’s confirmation that the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan is open to adjusting the existing U.S. aid program to help Armenia meet its urgent priorities related to the COVID-19 crisis,” said ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “The ANCA looks forward to learning more about how these repurposed funds can be smartly allocated to help Armenia deal with this health emergency and its economic aftermath,” Hamparian added.
The Administration’s confirmation came in response to ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian’s April 3, 2020, letter calling on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reprogram “at least $25 million from the Congressionally appropriated aid package for Armenia as part of an expanded U.S. assistance program to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Department of State’s response to the ANCA, written on behalf of Secretary Pompeo, was signed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Caucasus and Eastern Europe, George Kent.
To date, the U.S. government has dedicated $1.7 million in health assistance to Armenia to support COVID-19 response efforts, including preparing laboratory systems, activating case-finding and event-based surveillance, assisting technical experts for response and preparedness, and bolstering risk communication.