By Armen Zakarian in Yerevan
The Pan-Armenian Fund today presented a review of its 2001 operations and financial situation to its board members at the annual meeting in Yerevan.The Executive Director of the Pan-Armenian Fund Vahan Ter-Ghevondian said the fund had a successful fundraising campaign by raising $5348000. "We would have more contributions to the Fund if there was no 9/11 terrorist attack in the US", Ghevondian said.
The major contributions to the fund in the year 2001 came from the United States. The second and the third contributors France and Argentine increased their share in 2001. There was also a shift in the Unites States. According to Vahan Ter-Ghevondian, the East Coast contributed more money last year than the West Coast, where the most Armenian-Americans live. Great Britain, Germany and Lebanon also increased their share of contribution in 2001.
The major highlight of the presentation was the fact that for the first time businessmen in Armenia had significantly increased their donations by contributing more than $708 thousand, which is five times more than the previous year. The contributions from Armenia mostly came from the businessmen, which, according to Ghevondian, is an indication that the business community in Armenia is learning the culture of charity.
Pan-Armenian Fund also claimed successes of its operations in Nagorno-Karabakh where it has launched "North-South" highway project. The construction of major sections of the highway has been finished. According to the annual report presented to the board of the Pan-Armenian fund $17million is still needed for the completion of the whole project.
The Fund continues its major operations in the Armenian regions of Spitak and Gumri that are still suffering from the major earthquake in 1988. Dozens of schools, kindergartens and hospitals and residential apartments were built in 2001.
In an interview to RFE/RL Catholicos of all Armenians Garegin II, who is also a board member, praised the activity of Pan-Armenian Fund, saying that it has played a major role in rebuilding necessary infrastructures and roads for Armenia. Armenian President Robert Kocharian, who is a chairman of the Pan-Armenian Fund, presided the annual meeting.