Armenian Assembly of America Urges Congress to Direct $15mn in Aid to Armenia for Syrian Refugees

Citing corrupt practices, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has suspended 14 entities and individuals involved with humanitarian aid programs operating from Turkey, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

“Given this latest development, the Assembly renews its call that $15million be provided in refugee assistance and resettlement programs to help Syrians in Armenia,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “We urge Armenian Americans to contact Congress and make their voices heard to help ensure relief aid reaches those in need,” added Ardouny.

“USAID OIG’s investigation has identified corrupt practices involving a number of these programs operating from Turkey,” according to a May 6 statement from USAID OIG. “The investigation to date has identified a network of commercial vendors, NGO employees, and others who have colluded to engage in bid-rigging and multiple bribery and kickback schemes related to contracts to deliver humanitarian aid in Syria.”

The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) reported that Armenia “stands out as a rare example of integration” and refugees are “welcomed by ordinary people and supported by the Yerevan government.”

The Assembly urges the U.S. government to consider allocating at least $15 million in refugee assistance to Armenia.

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