AGBU ARMENIA INTERIM DIRECTOR HOVIG EORDEKIAN'S INTERVIEW TO "ARMENIA NOW"

The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), which is the world’s largest Armenian non-profit organization, says the latest escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh has not hampered its current programs and activities in the second Armenian republic. Moreover, according to the organization’s representative, it has created the need for new programs in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).

Several charitable projects are currently being implemented for Nagorno-Karabakh, which had to fight off a fresh Azerbaijani aggression in early April. AGBU is also doing its part and plans to announce a large-scale assistance program for Karabakh soon.

Hovig Eordekian, Deputy Director of the AGBU Armenian Representation, told ArmeniaNow that as part of the programs, assistance will also be provided to the families of soldiers killed in the clashes.

At least 108 soldiers died in the battlefield on April 2-5, more than 120 were wounded.

Eordekian said: “We also plan acquisition of equipment for medical care and ambulance services. We have organized a fundraiser through members and friends of our Diaspora structures. Part of the donated funds has already been transferred to a special account opened by the NKR government, while the remaining part will be used for the purchase of medical equipment.”

During the days of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh AGBU also provided support to those displaced by the armed conflict and now it is also taking care of accommodation and food needs of some of several hundred families who fled their homes in border villages.

According to Eordekian, despite the tense situation in the region all current AGBU programs for Karabakh are on track.

AGBU, which has, in particular, aimed to promote the development of both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh through its activities, has been involved in numerous programs focused on assistance to Karabakh.

In particular, during the past years the organization has helped reconstruct war-torn villages, build housing for war veterans and families of killed servicemen, rebuilt schools, repaired streets, roads and other infrastructure.

A center for creative technologies, Tumo, designed for up to 1,000 students aged 12-18, was opened in Stepanakert with AGBU’s assistance last year. Among other efforts AGBU still in 2004 initiated the establishment of a chamber orchestra, which successfully operates in Karabakh today.

Prepared by Gohar Abrahamyan