LOS ANGELES — The annual Thanksgiving Day Armenia Fund telethon broadcast from Los Angeles on Thjrsday has secured more than $22.6 million in donations and pledges for the construction of a strategically important road connecting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund will spend the money raised for the construction of a 116-km Vardenis-Martakert highway, which is of great social and economic importance for the two Armenian republics.

According to the official website of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, more than half of the sum, $12.35 million, has been pledged by Russian Armenians, the second biggest amount of donations has come from the United States – a total of $3 million. About 1.5 million Euros (almost $2 million) were pledged by Armenians around Europe in a preceding Phoneathon held on 21-24 November. The rest of the pledges have been made by donors from Armenian communities in the Middle East and Latin America.

Armenians from Armenia have pledged to donate more than $1.6 million, while Karabakh Armenians will contribute $1 million for the construction of t he highway, which is planned as an alternative to today’s operating road via the Lachin corridor.

Similar fundraisers in 2012 secured over $21 million in donations to finance rural infrastructure projects in Nagorno-Karabakh and help Syria’s ethnic Armenian community. The bulk of the donations then also came from wealthy Armenians in Russia.

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