Hayastan All-Armenian Fund
Governmental Buiding 3, Yerevan, RA
Contact: Hasmik Grigoryan
Tel: +(3741) 56 01 06 ext. 105
Fax: +(3741) 52 15 05
E-mail: [email protected]

12 April, 2010

Funds raised during Phoneathon 2009 help rebuild Askeran water and sewer

Yerevan, April 12, 2010 - The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has launched a
major infrastructure project in Askeran City, the capital of Artsakh's
Askeran Region, seeking to rebuild its crumbling potable-water and sewer
networks. The initiative is co-financed by the fund's French affiliate -
through donations received during the 2009 Pan-European Phoneathon - and the
government of Artsakh.

Commenting on priority issues facing Askeran today, Albert Avanesyan, head
of the region's Urban Development Department, identified the potable-water
problem as the most urgent. Currently drinking water reaches Askeran City
through rusted pipes and at minimal volume - due to water loss caused by an
extensively damaged network. Askeran's aging sewer system is also in a state
of disrepair, posing serious health risks.
Avanesyan added that another obstacle affecting the growth of the city is
the recent decline in the number of marriages, a phenomenon brought on by
the lack of affordable housing, he said.

With the earthwork already completed, construction crews are now rebuilding
Askeran's internal water-distribution system by installing new pipes, which
by the project's end will cover the network's close to six-kilometer overall
length. Also to be built are a 50-meter-long embankment along the shore of
the Badara River, meant to prevent riverbank collapse, and a
water-purification station. Finally, the project will include the
reconstruction of two water reservoirs (with a total capacity of 1,000 cubic
meters) and the sewer network.

"As the lack of access to water remains a critically urgent issue in both
Armenia and Artsakh, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is committed to helping
address the problem as a matter of highest priority," said Ara Vardanyan,
the fund's executive director. "We are deeply grateful to our compatriots
across Europe, whose generous contributions during the 2009 Pan-European
Phoneathon made the Askeran infrastructure project possible."

Nestled in northeastern Artsakh, the Askeran Region borders Azerbaijan on
the east. Of the area's some 17,600 residents, 2,100 live in Askeran City.

The Askeran Region is home to a number of major commercial companies
including Artsakh Alco (a manufacturer of alcoholic beverages), Artsakh
Fruit (a producer of fruits and vegetables), Varanda (a maker of barrels and
hardwood flooring), as well as a alabaster factory. These enterprises employ
close to 260 area residents. Products made by Artsakh Alco and Varanda are
also exported.

Agriculture continues to be a vital component of Askeran's economy. The area
produces significant quantities of pomegranates, grapes, and cereal crops,
which are packed at local food-processing centers. Lately Askeran farmers
have begun efforts to grow watermelons as well.
Notable among Askeran's historic monuments is the 18th-century Mayraberd
fortress. Another community institution is the Surb Astvatsatsin Church,
built in 2003.

Currently three projects financed by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund's French
affiliate are nearing completion. They include the construction of the
Chartar Village school (Martuni Region, Artsakh), construction of an
internal potable-water network in Sos Village (Martuni), and construction of
a regional cardiology center in Akner, near Goris (Syunik Region, Armenia).

Two additional projects financed entirely or in part by the French affiliate
will be launched within the next few months. They are the reconstruction of
the Muratsan School (Shushi) and reconstruction of the Aygehovit-Vazashen
irrigation network (Tavush Region, Armenia). The latter initiative is
sponsored jointly by the fund's French and Argentinean affiliates.


Hayastan All Armenian Fund