ANCA: Obama Requests $40 million in Aid to Armenia

Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax. (202) 775-5648
Email. [email protected]


February 1, 2010
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


— White House Request a 33% Increase over its FY10 Proposal;
Maintains Foreign Military Financing Parity to Armenia and

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

WASHINGTON, DC – 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,
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% cut in aid to
Armenia, a 20% 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.