Obama Requests $40 Million in Aid to Armenia

Representatives Pallone, Schiff, Eshoo, Speier, and Lowey Played Key Role in Educating Administration about Vital Need for Increased Aid to Armenia

WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2011 (FY11) budget, released earlier today, calls for $40 million in assistance to Armenia–$10 million more than his FY10 request, but still $1 million less than the total appropriated by Congress last year–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The figure, while representing a substantial increase over the president’s last request, falls just short of the $41 million actually appropriated last year by Congress, and far short of the $70 million request that was made last year by the Armenian Caucus and broadly supported by Armenian American advocacy organizations.

The president’s budget proposes maintaining Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan, requesting $3.5 million for each country.  In past years, the White House has sought to tilt the military aid balance in support of Baku, only to have its efforts rejected by Congress, which has consistently ensured balanced FMF figures for the two nations.  The administration did not extend the parity principle to International Military Training, Education, and Training (IMET), instead seeking to provide twice as much for Azerbaijan ($900,000) than Armenia ($450,000) in this area.

The president requested $22.12 million in assistance to Azerbaijan, $120,000 more than appropriated by Congress last year.  The president’s overall assistance request for Europe and Eurasia is $599,164,000, which represents a reduction of $11,818,000 from the previous year.

“We welcome the decision by the Obama Administration to ask for $10 million more in economic aid to Armenia this year than he did last year, and also his proposal to maintain parity in a key area of military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan,” said Aram Hamparian, the executive director of the ANCA. “We want to offer our special thanks to Representatives Frank Pallone, Adam Schiff, Anna Eshoo, and Jackie Speier–and, of course, Nita Lowey–for their energetic efforts in sharing with the administration how increased aid and support for Armenia advances both U.S. interests and American values in a strategically important area of the world.  We look forward, as well, to working with all our Congressional friends in building on these numbers and securing the adoption of increased aid levels and constructive policy provisions that will contribute to the strengthening of the U.S.-Armenia relationship and the search for a fair and lasting peace in the region.”

The proposed assistance to Armenia is a significant improvement over the FY10 request, which called for a 38 percent cut in aid to Armenia, a 20 percent increase in aid to Azerbaijan, and the abandonment of the longstanding Armenia-Azerbaijan military aid parity agreement in favor of Baku.  The ANCA led the Armenian American community in expressing its concerns to the administration last year, and working with the Congressional Armenian Caucus and members of the Senate and House Foreign Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign operations to increase the figures.

The Foreign Operations Subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriation Committees will now review the president’s budget and each draft their own versions of the FY11 foreign assistance bill.


  1. Thanks, but really no, thank you.
    Perhaps Obama and his administration should keep the proposed $40 million in aid to Armenia, and instead, lift off US State Department diplomatic pressure and arm twisting a tiny landlocked country.   In return, Obama should consider redirecting US State Department pressure on Turkey to lift its 17 years-old hostile-blockade.
    Now that Georgia is deemed unreliable and unstable by the West as a gateway to Central Asian gas & oil, Armenia’s geo-strategic importance as the only viable alternative is certainly worth more than the meager pocket change proposed by President Obama.
    Compared to the billions of US aid and US investments in Georgia, the US should try much harder with Armenia.

  2. Oh please! Is this the payoff for our community to stay quiet or is it chump change to placate anger over the Obama administration’s pathetic attempt at “real change”. Nice try but no cigar.
    Keep the change you spineless cowards you’ll need it to pamper your visiting turkish masters in dc.

  3. The proposed US Aid does not help Armenia; in reality it is corruption-money.  Armenia should reject this offer – and send a message back to the US State department that complicity in genocide denial is not acceptable; tacitly supporting Turkey’s hostile blockade for the past 17 years is not acceptable; and coercing Armenia to capitulate on a TARC or Protocols will not work.

  4. I guess with this news we are supposed to be forever thankful
    to the genocide scholar from Harvard who encouradged us to vote
    in favor of this “presidency from hell”?

  5. Sometimes I wonder if our politicians in diaspora and in the homeland have a knowledge of the past history, and if we will ever learn to play the game. In Us and abroad I have heard variations upon variations of ideas that are very naive and confusing. It seems our cart gets pulled and pushed like before from both sides, and still we think in leaning to one side we will achieve our goal. To learn to use our strength and knowledge takes courage and visionary thinking, which I do not see neighther in diaspora nor in Armenia. Look out boys, bickering does not pay, be realistic and have courage. What America gives to Armenia is nothing compared what they take from Armenia and Armenians. The same goes for the Russians. Wake up. They can stuff their pittance. The arena is open. I would like to see young, healthy, visionary, intelligent and CUNNING leaders to appear on the horizon, to guide and pursue our political interests.    

  6. It’s simply bribe money meant to work towards political ends… Have any of you looked into how Washington’s money has been spent in Armenia for the past twenty years? I think Armenia can do without it. By the way, why is it that when the so-called “oligarchs” do things like this it’s called “bribery” or “corruption” but when Washington does it its called “aid” or “support”?

  7. Hye, thanks to our Congressmen/Congresswomen who stance is constant for the rights of a nation decimated by the Turkish Genocide.  These men and women are serving beyond their immediate states which they represent – against the cycle of Genocides.  They recognize a bully nation which committed several Genocides – including the first one of the 20th century – the Turkish Genocide of the Christian Armenian nation upon their own lands.  Turkey did not gain these lands via a war – but with vile inhumanity to humans, slaughters, rapes, kidnappings, forced women/children in churches to be set afire, and bastinados… cruel tortures.   
    These Congress men and women have come to know that with the delay in pursuit of the Turkish guilt for the decimation of a nation – deliberate and planned –  elimination a  Christian people from their own homeland of nearly 4,000 has contributed to all the subsequent Genocides on  our planet – all the Genocides since the 1890s of the 19th century, the 20th century and even now, into 2010, sadly, into 21st century. 
    Imagine, if you will, all the milllions and millions of innocents – defiled by despots, such as the Turk,
    slaughtered, raped, kidnapped, and more… all these lives, one by one, all suffered the Genocides as
    a Turkey deceitfully  escapes their deserved punishment before the world.  For then shall despots shall have thought twice before purusing   goals via Genocides.
    These ‘brave’ Turks – and until today – have not been able, after so many generations, to learn the
    ropes to join   ‘civilized’ peoples.  Their leaderships will not allow this nation to gain civility and
    decency amongst humanity.  This is an unknown to the hordes emanating from the Asian mountains who overran civilized nations – committed Genocides – thus claiming all they ‘stole’ as their own…
    Their leaderships lie to the world:
     -denying the Armenian Genocide – which all the world  knows and recognizes.; 
     -bullying and in pursuit of the Armenians, wherever, whenever – still (nearly 100 years);
     -Turkish leaderships’ lie even in their own Turkish history books – lie to their own citizenry.
    Only a complete removal of this Turkish leadership will gain the Turkish people a civilized nation;
    Only the removal as was for the Nazi regime for Germany following WWII…


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