Armenia Rural Poverty Eradication Initiative Discussed by CIDA, ANCC

Armenian National Committee of Canada

Comité National Arménien du Canada

130 Albert St., Suite/Bureau 1007

Ottawa, ON


Tel./Tél. (613) 235-2622 Fax/Téléc. (613) 238-2622


Press Release

July 31, 2007

Contact: Kevork Manguelian

Armenia’s Rural Poverty Eradication Initiative Among Topics Discussed by

Ottawa- Three high-ranking Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
officials met Aris Babikian, the executive director of the Armenian National
Committee of Canada (ANCC) at the agency’s Gatineau, Quebec headquarters on
July 26 to brief the ANCC representative on CIDA projects, with particular
emphasis in the Caucasus in the past four years.

During the 90-minute meeting, CIDA briefed Babikian with the agency
developments, policies, priorities and its focus on countries of strategic
interest to Canada. After the 2006 parliamentary elections and the formation
of a new government by the Conservative Party, the agency’s priorities have
been under review. New directions and priorities are expected to be
announced in September.

The CIDA officials also briefed Babikian on agency-sponsored projects in
Javak (southwest Georgia), training local Armenians as civil servants,
implementing legal aid programs for the Armenian minority, teaching
Armenians the Georgian language, and other projects.

In turn, the ANCC executive director updated the CIDA officials with the
latest developments in Armenia’s Rural Poverty Eradication Programme (RPEP)
program, analyzed recent Armenia parliamentary elections’ results, and the
positive assessment of the election process by the international community.

Babikian also briefed the Canadian Government representatives with the
Canadian-Armenian community’s contribution to Armenia since the former
Soviet republic gained its independence. The CIDA officials said that they
highly valued the private initiatives of Canadian-Armenians in Armenia.

The ANCC executive director urged CIDA to be more actively involved in
Armenia. Armenia deserve to be awarded for its successful implantation of
the principles of free market economy, freedom of speech, freedom of the
press, protection of civil and human rights of its citizens, and other
democratic ideals, said Babikian. He pointed out that many international
organizations have testified that Armenia is one of the most successful of
the former Soviet Republics.

The two sides discussed RPEP activities at length. The ANCC considers CIDA’s
sponsorship and involvement in the project as a positive sign and an
incentive to the Republic of Armenia to continue on the reform path.

Babikian presented CIDA representatives with a detailed documentation of
RPEP programs, Canadian corporate investments in Armenia, Canadian NGO input
in Armenia’s development, and provided reports from international
institutions which gave positive evaluation of Armenia’s economic, political
and social progress.

"We are quite optimist that our meeting created a positive outlook with the
CIDA officials. They were very attentive to our presentation and to Armenia’
s needs. We are confident that this visit will pay dividends in the near
future," stated Babikian.


The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian
grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of
offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated
organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of
the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues.

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