Addressing about 250 people at the Diocesan Center on Monday, June 22, Her Excellency Marie Yovanovitch, the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, spoke about U.S. goals in Armenia, discussed taxpayer-funded development programs, and asked the public to share its concerns on U.S.-Armenia relations.
Turning to the economy, Ambassador Yovanovitch stressed that despite growth in recent years, the Armenian economy today faces the challenges posed by the global financial crisis.
To help during the economic crisis, Ambassador Yovanovitch said, the U.S. is stepping up short-term humanitarian efforts, like a new program that allocates money to villages for infrastructure work and employs local residents to carry out the projects.
Ambassador Yovanovitch highlighted the Artashat Water Project, which will rehabilitate the water supply system for over 100,000 people in Artashat and surrounding areas. The project has been financed by USAID and is being implemented by FAR.
In addition, the U.S. government has partnered with companies like Coca-Cola and Sun Microsystems to sponsor programs that protect natural resources and promote information technology training at Armenian universities.
She called Armenia one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid worldwide, having received a total of $1.8 billion in total assistance to date.
The evening, co-hosted by the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and the Fund for Armenian Relief, concluded with a period where Ambassador Yovanovitch addressed questions from the audience.