About $35 million of the $50 million contributed by Americans to help earthquake victims in Soviet Armenia has remained in banks undistributed, a broadcast report said Monday.
The $35 million was raised by Armenian-American cultural groups that have no experience in disaster relief work, reported World Monitor, a news program produced by The Christian Science Monitor.The World Monitor report said the groups have spent only $200,000 of the $35 million, all on advertising and administrative costs, and have yet to announce any specific relief projects in Armenia.
"We've spent approximately $100,000, almost all of it in fund-raising activity - an ad, for example, in the New York Times . . . responses, thank-you notes and so forth," said Robert Tembeckjian, a spokesman for one of the cultural groups, the Armenian General Benevolent Union.
"But the overwhelming proportion of the $6.5 million is still sitting in the bank," Tembeckjian said.