On 1st September (2014) "Common Issues, Common Solutions: Youth from Armenia and Turkey initiates a new housing solution for the earthquake displaced in Van, Turkey" project was was launched. The project is financed by Eurasia Partnership Foundation within the framework of the Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process Programme funded by the European Union.
The goal of the project is to promote dialogue between Armenia and Turkey through cooperation between young housing professionals of both countries by introducing alternative housing solutions for the earthquake displaced households in Turkey.
The visit of counterparts from Turkey to Armenia scheduled by the project "Common Issues Common Solutions" was accompanied by a technical workshop and professional discussion between the partners, as well as a visit to the earthquake zone. The technical workshop and the visit to Gyumri (November 10-11) enabled Armenian professionals to introduce to counterparts from Turkey HPC and HIG (urban and rural communities) models and implementation mechanisms in Armenia and Georgia, technical assistance and transfer of the HPC model to the government. Armenian participants received information about current situation, problems and solutions in the earthquake zone in Turkey.
A visit to Turkey is planned for the second stage of the project. Meanwhile, a manual presenting the Armenian experience will be prepared for printing- allowing the partners from Turkey consider the possibility of applying the Armenian experience in Turkey. The program of the exchange visit will include professional discussions, meetings with students, visiting the areas that suffered from the earthquake and other activities.
Technical Workshop participants were counterparts from Turkey, HPC practitioners, RA Government representatives during 2000-2005 HPC project implementation period, professors and students of the National University of Architecture and Construction.
Alternative approaches to the solution of the housing issue was proposed and implemented by the expert group of current project during 2000-2005 period within the framework of the USAID funded large-scale program that applied market mechanisms to the issue: the earthquake-affected households purchased their houses through Housing Purchase Certificated (HPC) in the housing market. Other two approaches were reinforcement and renovation of multi-apartment buildings and rural houses through Housing Improvement Grants (HIG).
The HPC model has been tested in the 1990's to support resettlement of Russian military officers from the Baltic States, and was replicated in Georgia in 2005-2006 for providing houses to internally displaced persons (IDPs).
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Talk show with Aron Aji, Director of MFA in Literary Translation Program at the University of Iowa (USA) and the president of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). The talk is about literary translation, creativity of translation and its peculiarities, as well as Armenia-Turkey joint literary translation initiatives.