The announcement was made during a joint meeting of the Security Councils of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in Yerevan on Friday.
The meeting was chaired by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian leader Arayik Harutiunian.
According to the office of the Armenian prime minister, Pashinian informed the participants of the meeting about “productive discussion” with ethnic Armenian officials from Nagorno-Karabakh that took place in Yerevan on March 25 and as a result of which it was proposed to implement housing and infrastructure construction programs in Nagorno-Karabakh at the expense of both government money and the funds donated by Armenians from around the world to the pan-Armenian Hayastan charity.
According to the report, the Armenian government suggested implementing the projects through Hayastan, with 52 billion drams coming from government money and 58 billion drams to be provided by the charity that raised the funds during the latest fundraiser last fall.
“In other words, we will have a sum total of 110 billion drams, with which we will implement housing and infrastructure construction programs. We have also made several other decisions, by which we will implement not only the provision of the roadmap that I published on November 18, 2020, that is, the restoration of normal life in Artsakh [the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh], but also development programs in Artsakh in order to have sufficient, high rates of socio-economic development. I think that the decisions made yesterday can be a very solid basis for ensuring these developments,” Pashinian said, adding that today’s discussions would also focus on issues related to “the security environment and strategic visions regarding the future.”
The need for large-scale housing construction in Nagorno-Karabakh arose after last year’s six-week war with Azerbaijan in which tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians were displaced from their homes. The armed conflict also resulted in vast destruction in the region’s capital Stepanakert and other towns and villages of the unrecognized republic that remained under Armenian control.
Under a Russia-brokered truce agreement, a chunk of Nagorno-Karabakh and all seven districts around it were returned under Azerbaijan’s administration after almost 30 years of control by ethnic Armenian forces.
The agreement also led to the deployment of around 2,000 Russian peacekeepers along frontline areas and a land corridor connecting the disputed territory with Armenia.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian leader Harutiunian said today that the decision to allocate 110 billion drams for the restoration of housing and infrastructure in the region will be of “key importance in solving humanitarian issues and ensuring Artsakh’s further development.”
“We have already plans to build around 4,000 houses. In the coming months we are going to develop projects for the construction of 2,000 more houses. In these projects, we always take into account our current reality, at the same time planning land allocations, providing further employment for residents, and discussing modern models of cooperation,” the Nagorno-Karabakh leader concluded.
Azerbaijan regards Nagorno-Karabakh as its internationally recognized territory. The ethnic Armenians who make up most of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population reject Azerbaijani rule and had been governing their own affairs, with support from Armenia, since Azerbaijan’s troops and Azeri civilians were pushed out of the region and seven adjacent districts in a war that ended in a cease-fire in 1994.