COVID-19 Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Plan
25 September 2020
The United Nations in Armenia has released itsCOVID-19 Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Plan (SERRP), outlining UN Armenia’s vision for the fight against the pandemic. The Plan leverages an inclusive approach to effectively mitigate the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Armenia, to save lives, protect people and communities - leaving no one behind, while building forward better and greener. The Plan was developed collectively by the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Armenia, following consultations with the Government, civil society, international partners, and other key stakeholders.
Following the structure of the Global UN Framework, the plan concentrates on five strategic Pillars - i) health, ii) protecting people, iii) economic response and recovery, iv) macroeconomic response and multilateral cooperation, v) social cohesion and community resilience, and includes three types of programmatic responses: i) ongoing projects that were quickly repurposed to address COVID-19 crisis, ii) special new initiatives already brought on-stream, and iii) proposed programmes and projects that form a pipeline of priority actions necessary to tackle the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the country and its people.
“We greatly appreciate the support of the Government of Armenia and all of our donors and partners in helping put this plan into action with a sense of urgency. All twelve resident UN Agencies, together with the International Monetary Fund, came together to translate global best practice into the Armenian context, highlighting urgent needs and important progress to date, as well as gaps for the medium term. This is all about helping people make it through the pandemic and emerging with communities and national systems even more resilient to crises of the future. We have kept social protection, small and medium-sized businesses, gender equality, the environment and green growth all in our sight to accelerate important processes on the path to achieving the SDGs and the new Armenia Transformation Strategy” – highlighted the UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia.
Prepared under the overall leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator Office, and with UNDP as technical lead, the Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Plan is guided by national priorities and needs, as well as rapid social and economic impact assessments undertaken by the UN Country Team and partners. It presents an integrated approach to recovery that combines expertise and resources from across the UN development system, including all twelve resident UN Agencies, several non-resident agencies and two Regional Economic Commissions, in coordination with development partners. The Plan has also benefited from the evidence and insights from a number of UN-led assessments, notably the COVID-19 Socio-Economic Impact Assessment finalized in September 2020 with UNDP lead.
Deputy Prime Minister, Mher Grigoryan noted that "the UN's Socio-economic response and recovery plan comes at an important moment in Armenia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting a practical framework that addresses both the immediate crisis response, including already hard won achievements, and longer term needs to recover and build back even better. As we currently elaborate our medium-term recovery plan, the Government of Armenia welcomes the UN's complementary efforts and will seek to build on them, together with those of our other international development partners. Jointly combatting the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic is an important step towards a shared vision of sustainable development in Armenia.”
The strategic directions and programming initiatives described in the Plan cover the next 12-18 months, focusing on an immediate health response to suppress transmission of the virus and end the pandemic, and addressing short-term social, economic and humanitarian needs. At the same time, the Plan concentrates on the more medium and longer term social, economic and health consequences, seeking to address the most vulnerable as a priority.
While the total budget of the Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Plan is estimated at 33.1 million USD, as a result of concerted efforts by the UN Armenia and the donor partners, the priority funding gap remains 15.2 million USD. To date, around 2.7 million USD of ongoing programming has successfully been repurposed, with 15.2 million USD in new projects mobilized to support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
The Socio-Economic Response and Recovery Plan was first presented to the Government and international partners during the Development Partners Coordination Forum meeting that took place on 18 September and was co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mher Grigoryan, and the UN Resident Coordinator, Shombi Sharp.
The Plan also represents a bridge to the next UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Armenia, outlining UN Armenia’s activities and support to the Government for the longer term development in the coming five years, 2021-2025.