US House increases assistance to Artsakh

The U.S. House panel responsible for foreign aid this week adopted a number of provisions promoting U.S. interests and American values in the Caucasus, proposing sharply increasing aid to Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) from $2 to $5 million and rejecting the Obama Administration’s proposed $7.2 million cut in aid to Armenia. reports about this quoting to the Armenian National Committee of America.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, led by Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) and Ranking Democrat Nita Lowey (D-NY), also maintained military aid parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and called upon the Administration to formulate a strategy for targeted aid to the Armenian-populated Javakhk region of Georgia. These provisions were included in the Committee’s Fiscal Year 2013 version of the foreign aid bill, which is set to be voted on tomorrow by the full House Appropriations Committee.

“Armenian Americans from California and across America thank Congressman Adam Schiffm who aggressively spearheaded the adoption of these vital foreign aid priorities, for his principled, pro-active, and persistent leadership,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA.

The key provisions of concern to Armenian Americans in this measure include:

– Nagorno Karabakh: Against the backdrop of multi-billion dollar cuts to overall foreign aid spending, the panel proposed more than doubling aid to Nagorno Karabakh, from the traditional expenditure level over the past several years of $2 million to an FY13 level of $5 million, expliciting expanding the mandate of this assistance program to include both humanitarian and development assistance.

The Senate Appropriations Committee may consider the foreign aid bill as early as next week.

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