Take two minutes to tell your Senators and Representative about the importance of expanded U.S. assistance to Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, as Congress continues its consideration of the Fiscal Year 2017 foreign aid bill.
Join the ANCA and friends of Armenia from across the U.S. in calling for:
1) At least $5 million in U.S. developmental aid to Nagorno Karabakh, with special focus on expanding the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center in Stepanakert (a regional clinic annually serving over 1,000 children and adults with physical and mental disabilities), and providing humanitarian aid to those injured or displaced as a result of Azerbaijan's cross-border aggression.
2) At least $10 million in emergency aid to help Armenia provide transition assistance to the nearly 20,000 people who have fled to Armenia from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.
3) A renewed focus on closing gaps in the delivery of need-based humanitarian aid to vulnerable populations in Syria that have left Armenians and other Christians largely outside of the stream of international assistance.
4) Zero-out U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan until its leaders halt their aggression, agree to a purely peaceful settlement, and stop obstructing the implementation of the Royce-Engel peace proposals to withdraw snipers and heavy arms, add OSCE observers, and deploy gunfire locator systems.
5) At least $40 million in U.S. economic assistance to Armenia, targeted to growing the U.S.-Armenia trade and investment relationship.
6) At least 10% of U.S. assistance to Georgia to be used for job creation programs in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of that country.
7) Language strengthening Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan.
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Background: The Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center
Today, among the most urgent humanitarian priorities in Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding region is the need to help rehabilitate children and adults with disabilities.
The Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center, first established in 1998 through a partnership of local health officials and then-Speaker of United Kingdom's House of Lords, Baroness Caroline Cox, is respected internationally for its leadership in rehabilitation. The Center provides high-quality, specialized medical care each year to approximately 1,000 local and regional patients. Among those receiving treatment include patients - from Karabakh, Armenia, Russia, and Georgia - with spinal cord injuries, elderly stroke victims, and infants and children born with disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida. In the face of rapidly growing local and regional demands for rehabilitation services, the Center lacks the sufficient infrastructure and modern facilities to meet its pressing humanitarian mission.
The U.S. aid program to Artsakh should prioritize expanding HALO Trust's mine clearance programs and supporting the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center's vital work.