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The head of Armenian president Robert Kocharian’s administration, member of Lincy foundation’s coordinating council Artashes Tumanian paid a fact-finding visit to Lori and Shirak marzes yesterday, September 13. The aim of the visit was to closer get acquainted with the rehabilitation programs that the foundation is currently implementing in the provinces. The two marzes, which have been referred to as disaster zone in result of the devastating earthquake that hit Armenia in 1988, are still in need of rehabilitation programs.

The foundation have been sponsoring a large part of the living houses’ construction works in the two marzes, and is now up to building more blocs of flats worth an estimated 93,8 million USD. The current program of Lincy foundation will secure shelter for more than 4,000 families, the deadline of the works slated November 2003. The program includes not only the construction of new buildings, but also the reinforcement of old ones, which are supposed to face an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 on Richter scale.

Mr. Tumanian got acquainted with the process of construction works, visited the already furnished apartments, talked to workers. He found out that the workers are getting a quite high salary (more than 200 USD per month), but there is lack of skilled house-builders. Fortunately the older generation of workers are training young specialists, who, together with receiving extensive lessons, give the old ones a helping hand.

Also the Lincy Foundation sponsored the re-construction of the highway which leads from Vanadzor to Dilidjan (36 km) as well as the highway connecting Yerevan with Sevan.

The head of Armenian president’s staff was satisfied with the overall picture of the programs, praising both the quality and the quantity of the initiatives. The Lincy foundation plans to finish its current rehabilitation programs in Armenia by the end of 2003. But it will hopefully not be the end, and new plans will be drafted to keep up the construction rates.

By Marlena Hovsepian

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