The Sustainable Development Goals in Armenia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Armenia:
10 May 2022
Feed for livestock and poultry ensures food for children and families
Life in the rural areas of Armenia has perks but has never been easy. Around one-third of villagers live below the poverty line. This situation has been further exacerbated by COVID-19, which has imposed greater financial challenges by restricting the opportunities for trade and seasonal work abroad. At the same time, the significant price increase among everyday goods has made life even more challenging for rural families in Armenia to make ends meet. The issue is not only the price of food for human consumption. The soaring prices of animal feedstuff has made it hardly possible to keep their livestock and poultry – important sources of meat, dairy products, and eggs for many families. “There was no way I would be able to provide enough feed to my chickens this winter, should there not be the feed support from FAO,” said Karen Vardanyan, farmer and father of two. Without such support, he would have to decrease his number of hens. “Thanks to the 450 kilograms of combined feed received, I could keep the poultry, and both the quantity and the quality of eggs have significantly increased, helping us to continue to take care of our family,” Karen added happily. Furthermore, through the income that Karen expects to get from selling eggs, he is planning to improve the hencoop to further increase the number of the hens they keep. Karen is among the 67 vulnerable families from Lori, northern Armenia, who benefited from the FAO initiative under the European Union’s LEAD programme. They received high-quality fodder and combined feed for livestock and poultry. Earlier, these families were provided with pregnant heifers or chicken as part of a Russian-funded project, yet the fodder distribution was of vital importance now to recover from the challenges posed by the pandemic. Poultry feed support ensures nutritious food and revenue Karen’s children, Vache and Nane, love running to the coop several times a day and bringing fresh eggs from the hens. Eggs not only ensures nutritious food for these children and their family, but is also a source of additional income. Years ago, FAO provided hens and poultry feed to the Vardanyan family and since then they have worked hard to increase the number of the hens so that they can continue benefitting from the eggs and chicken meat. “Scrambled eggs and poultry meat are my children’s favourite dishes,” Karen added. “Not only we get nutritious food, but also sell them to buy things necessary for our family. We even managed to exchange eggs with young fruit trees that will provide us with apples, pears, and cherries this year.” Caring is contagious “FAO’s support arrived just in time for us,” Mkhitar Gevorgyan said. “Providing quality feed to our cow will boost milk production benefiting not only my family, but also the baby calf.” Just like many other families in Pushkino village, this family too has no regular source of income and relies on the scarce financial means that they get from keeping livestock. Mkhitar – a father of six – engages in paid haying works in summers only, and for the rest of the year he struggles to get along. Last winter, as the prices of feed for livestock headed north, the situation became impossible for Mkhitar to buy fodder. Luckily, FAO’s support arrived then, consisting of 2 400 kg fodder and 720 kg combined feed that allowed the family to keep their cows alive. Mkhitar’s four-year-old son Vardan and his older siblings were very excited about the birth of Sheko (meaning “blond” in Armenian) – a cute calf delivered by the cow that FAO previously provided to their family. They cherish the baby calf and take care of him, believing that she will help them take care of the family needs as she grows up. Mkhitar’s family makes yogurt and cheese from cow milk that they mainly use to improve the nutrition of their children. Now he is planning to increase the number of the cows to increase the family income. “I hope at some point I will be well off and will be able to help others in need, just like FAO helped me,” Mkhitar added. The feed support initiative in a nutshell The feed distribution initiative is part of the Local Empowerment of Actors for Development (LEAD) Programme supported by the European Union and implemented by FAO and the United Nations Development Programme, in close partnership with Armenia’s Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure and Ministry of Economy. The programme helps those living in the Lori and Tavush regions of Armenia play active roles in inclusive, resilient, and sustainable local development. This four-year programme focuses on adapting and implementing the European Union’s LEADER methodology in the Lori and Tavush regions of Armenia and supports community-driven local and rural development initiatives carried out through partnerships uniting local authorities, civil society, and the private sector. The 67 families that received livestock and poultry feed support previously benefitted from FAO’s Cash+ pilot initiative as part of “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia” project funded by the Russian Federation. The project aimed to pilot innovative approaches that complemented the state-funded social protection programme․
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04 May 2022
WHO Regional Director for Europe and Minister of Health of Armenia sign two-year agreement to advance health for all, and promote vaccination and healthy lifestyles
Quality health care accessible to everyone, effective protection against health emergencies, healthy communities as contributors to an economy of well-being are core elements of the Biennial Collaborative Agreement (BCA) signed today by Anahit Avanesyan, Minister of Health of the Republic of Armenia and Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe during his two-day visit to the country. The BCA is a vital tool setting out collaboration priorities between WHO and the Government of Armenia for 2022-2023 that aim to support the Ministry of Health in achieving national health priorities, working closely with civil society, development partners and other key stakeholders. The BCA prioritizes access to quality care for each and every citizen in Armenia regardless of their financial means, effective protection against health emergencies and building healthy communities, with public health policies and actions serving to secure a better life and well-being for the people of Armenia. “The cooperation between the Ministry of Health and the WHO is crucial in many ways for being able to achieve the cornerstone health indicators our government is aiming for. I am happy to state that the Government Strategy for the years 2021-2026 includes the key areas of healthcare indicators that have to be achieved, which are also portrayed in the global agenda. With the last wave of COVID-19 pandemic slowly retreating into the background, we are thankfully able to again direct our efforts and resources to global health threats that still persist. Within the framework of the Biennial Collaborative Agreement for the years 2022-2023, we are aiming to devote large attention to areas that are of utmost importance to us such as Universal Health Coverage, health system strengthening, protection against health emergencies, promotion of healthy lifestyle and many more,” said Anahit Avanesyan, RA Minister of Health. The BCA builds on the key achievements recorded within the long-lasting partnership between WHO and the Government of Armenia in tobacco control, emergency preparedness, response to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health - to name a few. It is in line with the international public health strategic goals and frameworks such as the WHO European Programme of Work and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. “This agreement signed today puts health higher on Armenia’s agenda, underlining its place as a universal human right and key development priority for a better economy, and for peace and security,” said Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “WHO has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with the Government of Armenia, and we will continue to work side-by-side to advance the national health agenda: strengthening the health system, moving towards universal health coverage, protecting people from health emergencies, and promoting health and wellbeing,” he added. Visiting the country during European Immunization Week (EIW), the Regional Director also highlighted the live-saving importance of vaccines and vaccination as a building block for a functioning public health systems. Dr Kluge underlined the importance of immunization as a public health measure and the many millions of lives it has saved and called for continued joint efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination to protect people, health systems, and health workers.
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20 April 2022
IOM promotes new work permit issuance system for foreigners in Armenia
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in cooperation with the Migration Service of Armenia (MS) launched a new unified online platform, which is addressed to digitalize the whole process of granting work permit and residence status to foreigners in Armenia. The official launching event was held on 19 April 2022 in Yerevan. IOM Armenia has been supporting the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Migration Service of Armenia in strengthening the labour migration system since 2018. As part of this partnership, a new work permit issuance system has been developed and implemented within the framework of the labour migration management reforms. The new platform is an integrated electronic management registration system, serving as a tool for issuance and extension of work permits and employment contracts with foreign workers in the Republic of Armenia. At the same time, foreign citizens who are exempted from the requirement to obtain a work permit in the Republic of Armenia, can register on the platform in order to verify the legality of their residence and receive a relevant certificate. “IOM’s objective is to support Armenia’s Labor Migration System by effective mechanisms for the issuance of work permits in line with best international practices. In this way, we aim to contribute to advancing human rights of migrants and sustainable economic development, for the benefit of all,” said Ilona Ter-Minasyan, IOM Armenia’s Head of Office. The Migration Service has already received about 700 applications through the website https://workpermit.am/. About 250 employers are registered in the system and more than 260 temporary residence permits have been already granted. 170 permits certifying legality of residence for the foreigners exempted from the requirement to obtain a work permit have been issued. The event was followed by a Q&A panel with employers asking questions and presenting suggestions. For more information visit the website at www.workpermit.am.
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25 March 2022
IDEA APP Armenia closing ceremony
The IDEA App is a technical solution developed by Bridge for Billions in collaboration with and specifically customized to the needs of UNIDO. It deploys a unique technology to incubate and accelerate business opportunities for early-stage entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and addresses the need to streamline online incubation services throughout all projects applying the IDEA approach. In the framework of “Accelerating women’s empowerment for economic resilience and renewal: Post COVID-19 reboot in Armenia” UN joint project funded by Multi-Partner Trust Fund, UNIDO launched a four-month online program aimed to build the entrepreneurial capacity for startup women. Women entrepreneurs, with the support of mentors from different corners of the world, were able to materialize their business ideas by developing business plans to start a new business or to expand the existing one, thus ensuring self-employment and increasing their income opportunities. In her welcoming remarks, Anahit Simonyan, UNIDO Country Representative, said, “We are very proud that UNIDO has a chance to support Armenian women entrepreneurship by linking local and diaspora capacity, skills and knowledge through its flagship incubation platform. We believe that IDEA programme designed to promote youth and women entrepreneurship and facilitate their integration into the formal economy through a modular and flexible approach will be effectively employed by interested parties. Furthermore, there is a great untapped diaspora potential that can be attracted to develop innovative solutions and new ideas through this platform.” In total, thirty-two women entrepreneurs with the support of thirty-six mentors developed bankable business plans completing eight core modules from value proposition to impact and growth plan. UNIDO and Bridge for Billions representatives made welcoming remarks followed by a certificate awarding ceremony.
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11 March 2022
WFP celebrates International School Meals Day in Armenia
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Armenia celebrated School Meals Day with its partners, the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI) and the School Feeding and Child Welfare Agency. The event at Abovyan school No 8 brought together school children of primary grades and their parents in Abovyan city of Kotayk province. WFP has been implementing school feeding in Armenia since 2012, providing over 100,000 schoolchildren with hot, nutritious meals every day. The event highlighted the activities of WFP’s school feeding programme in Armenia. Children and their parents participated in flash mobs and games designed to acquaint them with the harmful effects of an unhealthy diet and the importance of balanced, nutritious meals. “Today, we celebrate our joint achievements of the School Meals Programme and raise awareness of nutritious school meals and their importance to our children’s health,” said the Headmaster of Abovyan school No 8 Lusine Baghdasaryan. “School meals have had a transformational role in children’s wellbeing and have already helped in improving their dietary habits. I would like to thank all supporters, including WFP, the Government, parents and our community who united their efforts and invested in our children's development.” “School meals are critical for children’s wellbeing and improving learning abilities to reach their full potential; eventually enhancing their productivity as adults contributing to their country’s economic development,” said WFP Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge Nanna Skau. “Thanks to the successful partnership with the Government of Armenia, School Meals has become a flagship programme ultimately contributing to food security of children across the country.” Also, as part of celebrating International School Meals Day in Armenia, WFP and partners will invite all parents with their primary grades school children to participate in an online quest that will be followed by an award ceremony for the winners. Abovyan No 8 school is among other 89 schools in Kotayk province that is part of WFP’s School Feeding Programme, which is expected to join the National School Feeding programme in December 2022. The management of the School Feeding Programme has been already gradually handed over to the government in eight provinces of Armenia making the programme more sustainable for the years to come. As a result of a successful nationalization, the Government of Armenia has recently signed the declaration of commitment and joined the global School Meals Coalition.
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01 July 2021
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