BEVERLY HILLS (Combined Sources)–Prominent US billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s charity The Lincy Foundation announced on Friday that it would allocate $60 million for three new infrastructure projects selected by the Government of Armenia.
The money will be spent on the renovation of rundown schools and the repair of more highways and major streets in the capital–Yerevan.
"The work will commence once the necessary approvals have been obtained and agreemen’s between the Armenian government and The Lincy Foundation have been signed," the foundation said in a statement. "The Government of Armenia will implement these projects with the assistance of The Lincy Foundation."
The Foundation’s statement also said that the school renovation project would significantly improve the educational environment for thousands of students who have been studying in dilapidated school buildings for many years. "The upgrading and improvement of various city streets and roads would facilitate the movement of people and goods throughout Armenia."
Kerkorian’s decision to continue his multimillion-dollar assistance to Armenia was made two months after his unexpected visit to Yerevan–during which he met President Robert Kocharian and received Armenia’s highest state award.
Kerkorian also inspected streets in the city center and roads outside it that were rebuilt with the Foundation’s money. He was reportedly satisfied with what he saw.
The Lincy Foundation spent $150 million on those infrastructure projects between 2001 and 2004. Much of the money went to pay for the repair and construction of 430 kilometers of major highways–five bridges–two tunnels as well as 3,674 new apartmen’s in Armenia’s northern regions still reeling from the 1988 earthquake.
In addition–Lincy has contributed $20 million in loans to Armenian businesses–as well as half of the funding for the construction in the late 1990s of a road linking Armenia and Karabagh. Kerkorian has been Armenia’s single largest diaspora donor.