Speeches Shim

Map of Armenia

Laying strong foundations for lasting democratic change in Armenia.


In April 2018, peaceful street protests across Armenia, known as the “Velvet Revolution,” culminated in the resignation of Prime Minister (PM) and former President, Serzh Sargsyan. On May 8, 2018, Armenians elected protest leader and opposition parliamentarian Nikol Pashinyan as the new PM, setting in motion a democratic transition. While the new Government of Armenia (GoAM) focuses on implementing its reform agenda, the COVID-19 pandemic and recently ended, six-week conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) both significantly stress the young administration. As a result of the conflict, Azerbaijan pushed Armenian forces out of territory that Armenia has occupied since 1994, and Russia installed peacekeepers in NK for the first time. Public support for the GoAM remains strong, but continued work is needed to ensure Armenia remains an independent and well-functioning democracy in a difficult neighborhood. USAID/OTI’s work complements the U.S. Government’s efforts to help Armenia succeed as a secure, prosperous, and democratic country.


USAID/OTI launched its Armenia program in March 2019. The program focuses on sustaining positive momentum for the post-revolution government while building institutions, resulting in a solidification of Armenia’s democracy. The program’s objectives are for:

  • GoAM reforms to result in more systematic and professional institutions and; for
  • Armenians to experience and view the democratic transition as a positive change in their lives.


  • USAID/OTI augments the government’s reform agenda implementation by providing technical assistance, equipment, and training to line ministries, press secretaries, governors, and the PM’s Office. Through these efforts, USAID/OTI helps the GoAM demonstrate progress  to its citizens who are eager for the change promised during the “Velvet Revolution.” 
  • USAID/OTI enables local governments to better address citizens’ critical needs by providing in-kind assistance to resolve key community issues, thereby demonstrating that the democratic government prioritizes the needs of all Armenians. For example, during the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, USAID/OTI worked with municipal governments to provide packages of food, hygiene items, and basic needs in transit areas for people fleeing the conflict.
  • USAID/OTI supported the GoAM’s immediate efforts to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through technical assistance for strategic communications, IT equipment for emergency response and telework, key supplies for hospitals, and food packages for vulnerable families.
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