Good The History Of Armenia Research Paper Example
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International Diversity and the Global Economy
Armenia, one among the oldest known civilizations has its history dating back to as far as four millenniums. It is located in Near East or Western Asia, an area which is considered by many scholars as the cradle of some of the oldest civilizations. This landlocked country has a rich and diverse history and has witnessed many battles and violent upheavals.
This article will focus on how Armenia has evolved over the years, its relation with the United States, the country’s current economic situation, major problems facing Armenia and how US/Texas state Government can lend a helping hand to Armenia and its citizens.
As mentioned above, the history of Armenia dates back to as far as 4000 BC. The history of Armenia can be classified into five time periods- Prehistoric, Antiquity, Middle Ages, Early Modern Age and Modern Age. In the interest of the topic, this article will focus solely on the Early Modern Age and the Modern Age.
Armenia, during most of its history has been ruled by invaders and foreign empires like Mongol empire, Central Asian Tribes, Ottoman Empire, Russian empire etc. During the course of these invasions, wars and other attacks, the people of Armenia had been subjected to extreme levels of cruelty and massacres which continued to happen even until the recent past. Two of the infamous massacres happened in the recent past include the Hamidian Massacres during the mid- 1890s orchestrated by the Ottoman ruler Sultan Abdu’l-Hamid II and the Armenian Genocide during the World War I inflicted by the Government of Turkey. Thousands of people lost their lives on both these attacks and the Armenians were subjected to extreme levels of brutality.
Following this bloodshed, Armenia was under Russian control and eventually became part of the USSR. Under the reign of Vladimir Lenin, Armenia witnessed a period of stability and peace. Post the World War II, Armenia, as a part of the USSR, witnessed prosperity, with the citizens receiving Government aided education, medicine, food and other amenities.
Armenia witnessed yet another period of lawlessness following the revolts triggered from Azerbaijan and inability of Russia to control the revolts. Russia’s approach to these revolts generated suspicion among the people of Armenia and they liberated themselves from USSR, the first country to do so which eventually led to the disintegration of the concept of USSR. Armenia declared independence from USSR on 21st September, 1991, the day which continues to be celebrated as their Independence Day. The initial years of independent Armenia were riotous, with the nation indulging in war with Azerbaijan and Turkey, which continued till 1994, during when Russia brokered a ceasefire between these warring nations. The period of war, riots and revolts ended there, but the young nation is still struggling to stand on its feet even today. The following section will focus on the current socio-economic and political scenario of modern day Armenia.
Present day Armenia- A Snapshot
This section of the essay will throw some light on the economic policy of Armenia, political philosophy, Government structure and the nation’s current leaders.
Years of continuing war and revolts have been the face of Armenia for a very long period of time. Owing to this, there was not an occasion in the modern era where Armenia has marveled or prospered economically. Post-independence in 1991, Armenia had transformed its economy into a more dynamic and market oriented free economy, making it the 52nd most liberal economy among the world nations, according to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom report. The key performance indicators will be explained in detail in the upcoming sections.
Armenia follows a Semi-Presidential Republic, where the President heads the Government. Both men and women 18 and above holds the right to vote in Armenia. The current President of Armenia is Serzh Sargsian and the Prime Minister is Hovik Abrahamyan. The cabinet consists of council of ministers appointed by the Prime Minister. In the democratic set up, where the people of Armenia elect the President through voting for a term of 5 years and the President in turn will elect the Prime Minister. The major political parties in Armenia include Armenian National Congress, Armenian National Movement, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Heritage Party, Republican Party of Armenia and Rule of Law party.
Armenia and the United States
United States is one of the largest providers of financial aid to Armenia and both the nations enjoy a very cordial relation with each other. Diplomatic relations between US and Armenia was established in early 1992, after the disintegration of USSR and subsequent independence of Armenia in 1991. United States provides not just financial assistance to Armenia, but has also helped Armenians in building the nation, ever since its independence. US has been an active partner who supported the democratic and social reform movements in Armenia and has also put great efforts to promote regional peace and stability in the region.
There is also an increased focus between these two nations to promote trade and also to improve the healthcare delivery system in Armenia. The biggest stumbling block for Armenia in establishing a free trade region is the troubled relation that it shares with two of its neighbors- Turkey and Azerbaijan. U.S has been actively involved in helping Armenia to find a peaceful settlement of the border tussles.
The bilateral economic relations between the two countries is monitored and controlled by the US-Armenia Joint Economic Task Force (USATF). The primary focus areas of USATF include trade, energy and investment. The various trade and investment agreements between the two nations include investment incentive agreement, a bilateral investment treaty and an agreement on trade relations. When it comes to the investment in energy sector, the two nations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to invest and explore the possibilities of discovering Armenia’s energy sources including shale gas. United States have already made considerable investment in Armenia in the areas of Information Technology, Tourism, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Jewelry, Textiles and Mining in addition to Energy.
Both U.S and Armenia are common members of many international organizations like United Nations, IMF, WTO, World Bank, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe etc. Armenia is also a participant of NATO.
Armenia: Socio-Economic Analysis
This section will focus on the current status of Armenia’s economy, healthcare ecosystem, defense capabilities and spending as well as the demographic information on the various ethnicities, cultures and religions in Armenia.
Armenia witnessed a period of high growth from the end-1990s to 2008. However the economy slumped during the recession from 2008-2010. From double digit growth (on a small base) during the early part of this century, the growth rate fell to 3-4% range during the recession. The major sources of revenue for Armenia include remittances from its nationals staying abroad, international aid from countries like U.S and Russia, Tourism and FDI . A few of the key economic parameters are mentioned in the table below -
The major export partners of Armenia are Russia (19.6%), Germany (10.7%), Bulgaria (9.1%), Belgium (8.9%), Iran (6.9%), U.S (6.1%). The major import partners of Armenia are Russia (20%), Germany (11%), Bulgaria & Belgium (9%), Iran (6.5%), U.S (6.1%), Canada (5.9%) etc.
Armenians enjoyed one of the best healthcare systems during the communist rule and when Armenia was a part of the USSR. Post-independence, Armenia moved to a free market economy, which had its benefits and as well as shortcomings. The healthcare sector is dominated by the private hospitals and Government is playing only a very limited role. A vast majority of the Armenian population does not have any type of insurance and have to spend from their own pocket for the treatment and medicines. The rising cost of healthcare treatment is a reason to worry for both the Government and the citizens of Armenia .
The branches of Armenian Military include Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense. The Military branches are headquartered in Yeravan and the nation spent 3.9% of its GDP on for defense purposes in 2012. Armenia procures its weaponry and associated systems mainly from Russia, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, China, U.S and Ukraine.
The major ethnic groups of Armenia include Ethnic Armenians (97% of the population) and the minorities including Yezidis, Russians, Greeks, Assyrians, Ukranians, Poles, Germans, Jews, Kurds and Georgians . Armenia is considered to be the first nation to adopt Christianity as a religion and it continues to be the predominant religion in Armenia. Islam is the other major religion in Armenia, although in minority.
Problem Facing Armenia and the Proposed Resolution
One of the most important problems that has been identified during the course of this research and which deserves an immediate attention is on the restructuring of the healthcare ecosystem in Armenia. As mentioned above, the healthcare costs are rising in the country and more and more people are finding it difficult to access quality healthcare. Let us first look into some of the key parameters that determine the health of healthcare industry in Armenia .
Nutritional status of children is deteriorating, the country is witnessing an increase in stunting rate among children under 5
5% of children are underweight and 15% are overweight
37% of pre-school children and 25% of women of childbearing age are anemic
High infant mortality rate of 16 during the period 2006-2010
The nutrition indicators point at a state of public health emergency
Negative population growth rate
Maternal Mortality Rate of 30 deaths/100,000 live births
Low physician density- 2.85 physicians/1,000 population
Low hospital bed density- 4 beds/1,000 people
Low HIV prevalence
% of GDP spend on healthcare in 2012: 4.5%
The budget allocation for healthcare has been witnessing a downward spiral. In 2013, it was just 1.54 % of the budget that was allocated for healthcare. It is estimated that this will come down to 1.31% in 2015 . The Government, in order to attempt the problem of rising healthcare costs has introduced primary healthcare reforms. The reforms focus on preventive care management and management of chronic diseases . However, the reforms are not achieving the intended benefits as the people under cover have been increasing substantially, but the budget allocation is going down. So, the situation is that the citizens of Armenia are bound to receive the healthcare treatment and medicines by law, but they are simply not available owing to paucity of funds. This situation is quite alarming in a nation where the healthcare industry is more or less unregulated and is in the hands of private players.
This is potential area, where the U.S/Texas Government can provide help to the Armenian people. The concept of Obama care, back in the US has made significant reduction in the healthcare expenditures and has been quite effective in increasing the coverage. This model may be replicated in Armenia, with the financial and technical assistance of the United States. It is also important that the health insurance coverage to be increased in Armenia, as the majority of its citizens is bound to pay for the medical expenditures from their own pocket. This is a potential area for the American Payer industry to expand and it should be a part of the master plan to provide assistance to the Government of Armenia. Armenia is a free market economy and shares a very good relation with the US. The barriers for entry for the healthcare payer industry will be minimal. This, along with the financial assistance by the US to the Government of Armenia to revamp their healthcare ecosystem will work wonders for them and will help its citizens to effectively manage their healthcare spending.
The process has to be started at the State/Federal Government levels to initiate a discussion with the Armenian Government. It will be ideal to launch it as a 2-year plan, during which the performance of the initiative can be measured and corrections can be made as required. As a responsible and long term friend and partner of Armenia, it is the responsibility of the US to assist Armenia in revamping their healthcare industry to make it more affordable to its citizens as well as to help improve the quality of the healthcare delivery system.
This essay has analyzed the country in focus- Armenia, identified the problem areas that the country is facing and recommended the potential solution for overcoming the challenge. The essay has identified the way in which the US Government can partner with their Armenian counterpart in order to revamp their healthcare ecosystem.
Affairs, Bureau of European and Eurasian. US Relations with Armenia. 20 March 2015. <http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5275.htm>.
—. US Relations with Armenia. 20 March 2015. Webpage. 5 April 2015. <http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5275.htm>.
CIA. The World Fact Book: Armenia. 14 June 2014. Website. 6 April 2015.
National Statistical Service Yerevan, Ministry of Health Yerevan, USAID. Armenia: Demographic and Health Survey 2010. Armenia Demographic and Health Survey. Calverton: ICF International, 2012. Report.
Organization, World Health. Armenians struggle for health care and medicines. July 2009. Report. 7 April 2015.
Susanna Hayrapetyan, Ara Khanjian. "Healthcare in Armenia: Challenges and Prospects." Armenian International Policy Research Group (2004): 16.
Ulasiuk, Iryna. "National Minorities and Migration in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia,Moldova, Russia and Ukraine ." CARIM EAST – CONSORTIUM FOR APPLIED RESEARCH ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION (2013): 45.
UNICEF. "UNICEF Annual Report 2013- Armenia." Annual Report. 2013. Report.
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