The delegation, which includes close to 40 members, has also started to hold opening ceremonies for recently completed projects.
Prior to traveling to Artsakh, the delegation visited the Goris Cardiology Center, which was built with the co-sponsorship of the fund’s French affiliate, the French-Armenian Doctors’ Association, the department of Bouches-du-Rhone (a large administrative area in the south of France), and former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri.
On May 23, the delegation officially unveiled two major infrastructure projects in the Martuni Region: the potable-water network of Karmir Shuka Village, and the Martuni Hospital. The construction of both projects was sponsored by Armenia Fund USA.
Dignitaries and guests participating in the opening ceremonies included Rev. Shahe Ananyan, representative of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin; Karen Shahramanyan, Urban Planning minister of NKR; Khoren Bandazian and Irina Lazaryan, chairman and executive director, respectively, of Armenia Fund USA; and local-community representatives. The festive events were attended by large numbers of local residents.
“I thank you all for your devotion to your village,” said Ara Vardanyan in his opening remarks during the Karmir Shuka opening ceremony, as he addressed the residents. “I am hopeful that your bond with your village will always remain strong, that the ranks of children standing here today will increase, and that this land will prosper well into the future.”
The 270 households of Karmir Shuka, comprising 1,050 residents, now enjoy around-the-clock access to potable water, which reaches them from area springs thanks to the recently built distribution network. The network, whose construction was co-sponsored by the government of NKR, includes an 11-kilometer pipeline and two regulation reservoirs.
The opening ceremony for the Martuni Hospital was equally jubilant. A highly anticipated project since its start in 2011, the construction of the hospital was co-sponsored by the government of Artsakh, the Armenia Fund USA, and the Armenian Medical Fund.
In his opening remarks, Martuni mayor Mher Khachatryan spoke of the critical importance of the state-of-the-art facility. With a total area of 2,470 square meters and fully equipped to provide a broad range of health services, the Martuni Hospital is one of the largest establishments of its kind to be built by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. The two-story complex comprises a polyclinic, a maternity ward, an emergency room, an intensive-care unit, and departments of gynecology, diagnostics, surgery, and physical therapy. The hospital also features an advanced infectious-diseases department, with its own entrance.
The hospital’s amenities include a large elevator, a boiler room, a power substation, and central heating and air-conditioning. The facility can serve close to 1,000 stationery and 1,400 ambulatory patients a year.
In his welcome speech at the opening ceremony, Khoren Bandazian said, “We are extremely happy that ongoing collaboration between the diaspora and the government of Artsakh has resulted in the establishment of yet another modern medical center in the republic. The Martuni Hospital, whose construction was made possible by the support of the Armenian Medical Fund, our partner, will provide local communities with quality healthcare. It remains to hope that this major initiative will be followed by many others, toward the continued development of the strategically significant Martuni Region.”
The Martuni Hospital is the second major medical facility in Artsakh to be built through the support of the Armenian community of the Eastern US. The first was the Stepanakert Polyclinic, a landmark complex which was built in 2006.