The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations has called for $60 million in U.S. aid to Armenia, $2 million for Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) demining, and a special report by the State Department and US Agency for International Development to identify humanitarian needs in the aftermath of the 2020 Artsakh war as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 foreign aid bill, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“The ANCA would like to thank Chairwoman Barbara Lee for her leadership in increasing aid to Armenia, maintaining Artsakh demining assistance, and – notably – for calling for a long-overdue needs assessment following Turkey and Azerbaijan’s attacks on Artsakh and Armenia in 2020,” stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “As the House and Senate continue marking up the FY2023 foreign aid measure, we look forward to working with key legislators to expand aid to Artsakh in the face of ongoing Azerbaijani aggression.”
The ANCA is continuing its nationwide campaign to secure $50 million in U.S. aid to Artsakh / $100 million for Armenia through its online portal.
In the report accompanying the proposed FY2023 foreign aid bill, House appropriators urged the $60 million in funds for Armenia to support “economic development, private sector productivity, energy independence, democracy and the rule of law, and other purposes.” With regard to Artsakh, the report notes, “the Committee remains concerned about the humanitarian impact of the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh and resulting challenges in the areas of housing, food security, water and sanitation, health care, and other human needs.” Within 60 days of the enactment of the measure, the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator are asked to “develop and submit to the Committees on Appropriations an assistance strategy for addressing humanitarian and recovery needs arising from the conflict. The strategy shall identify resources and programs available to address the ongoing crisis, along with an estimate of resources available for such purpose.” The Committee report also includes a recommendation of “not less than $2,000,000 for demining activities in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
With regard to Turkey, House appropriators, once again, urged that aid be withheld from President Erdogan’s bodyguards – the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate (TPPD) – unless those indicted as a result of the July 17, 2017, brutal beating of peaceful protesters in Washington, DC are brought to justice.
The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to adopt the proposed FY2023 foreign aid bill this week. In the run-up to full House consideration of the measure, Hamparian and ANCA Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan have led over 50 meetings with Congressional offices echoing community concerns about Artsakh’s and Armenia’s safety and security, the need to zero-out military aid to Azerbaijan, and to send $50 million in U.S. aid to Artsakh and $100 million to Armenia. They have been accompanied by the 2022 ANCA Leo Sarkisian, Maral Melkonian Avetisyan, and Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program interns and fellows.
The U.S. Senate is set to take up foreign aid bill in the upcoming month.