Armenians Seek U.S. Foreign Aid Increase to Armenia & Artsakh

Photo Credit: Serouj Ourishian

By Lilit Arakelyan
Contributing Writer

Vice President of the National Assembly of Armenia, Ishkhan Saghatelyan, has asked Congress to recognize the urgent need for aid to Artsakh. The nation is recovering from the devastating effects of a weeks-long war. Efforts by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) have also called upon Armenian Americans to implore Congress’ adjustment of the fiscal year 2023 budget to include $150 million in aid to Armenia and Artsakh.

Saghatelyan’s appeal to Congress for a needs-assessment follows the release of President Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget, which contains a $21 million dollar decrease in aid to Armenia. A report by the Government Accountability Office also noted that for nearly two decades the United States has been sending aid to Azerbaijan by waiving Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act of 1992, which was enacted to prevent U.S. support to Azerbaijan for fear that the funds would be used for an offensive against Armenia and Artsakh.

In 2020, Azerbaijan and Armenia were at war over the disputed territory of Artsakh, which displaced 57,000 Armenians, caused a loss of 75% of Artsakh territory, and incurred symmetric casualties of 2,000-3,000 service members. U.S. funds sent to Azerbaijan during fiscal years 2014-2021 were noncompliant with the reporting requirement of the Section 907 waiver, spurring concern over the impact of U.S. assistance to the military imbalance between the two nations. 

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing discussing the new foreign aid budget request and policy initiatives on April 27, 2022 at 9 a.m.

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