Efforts to Build Gyumri are Underway


A new significant renewal project is being launched for the redevelopment and renewal of Gyumri, it is called “Gyumri Project HOPE.” The goal of the project is to come up with a long-term development plan for Gyumri that will bring together organizations and individuals from diaspora, international organizations and the municipality of Gyumri for the purpose of reviving Gyumri.

“The renewal of Gyumri, 27 years after the earthquake is long overdue and is increasingly becoming a high priority topic in Armenia and the diaspora. After completing the “Depopulation Crisis in Armenia” (www.depop.am) research, the Depop team is now focused on leading a strategic plan for the renewal of Gyumri as a positive outcome of the research that looked into the reasons of emigration from Armenia. Gyumri was featured in Depop’s research as the most extreme example of neglect in Armenia leading to high rates of emigration,” says Kamo Mailyan, Director of the project on behalf of the Kololian Foundation of Toronto, Canada.

In an effort to leverage support Gyumri’s mayor Samvel Balasanyan met a group of parliament representatives and MPs in Yerevan (February 27, 2015) for the purpose of discussing potential provision of privileges to Gyumri. As the mayor was explaining the situation in Gyumri and importance to give Gyumri a special status that would enable job creation and giving privileges to new businesses, he spoke about his meeting with Vahan Kololian and HOPE project in Gyumri.

“The situation in Gyumri is so sad that it is even painful to imagine how people can live in such conditions. By solving small social problems you cannot solve the big problem. We need a global solution. The decision to provide tax holidays to businesses in Gyumri is a major step. Likewise, we could also provide mortgage credits to working families for thirty years, and by doing this we could help people buy homes and leave their makeshifts. This is possible, and there are potential sources for this,” said the mayor of Gyumri.

Samvel Balasanyan told about ongoing projects in Gyumri, as well as his meeting with Vahan Kololian and his decision to join the HOPE project’s efforts to revive Gyumri. “Vahan Kololian and Ruben Vardanyan are doing projects in Gyumri for developing the area. One of the projects is focused on developing tourism, and the other one is planning to make a long-term development strategy for Gyumri. This plan will show us how we can develop Gyumri. This project will allow us to put together the plans or projects since 2002, and make a document/framework that will show the steps that need to be taken to develop Gyumri.”

The mayor of Gyumri hopes the National Assembly will help these efforts by supporting the initiative to provide privileged conditions to Gyumri as the municipality is currently working with the government on developing a draft proposal for giving Gyumri a privileged status.

“We are looking for your support to create jobs and develop Gyumri,” said Samvel Balasanyan in an effort to raise awareness and find support in the parliament for the city with highest poverty rate in Armenia.

Petrosyan, S. March 6, 2015. Efforts to Build Gyumri Are Underway. 168 Zham. Retrieved from: http://en.168.am/2015/03/06/1592.html

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