The Armenian economy is slowly recovering from a sharp GDP downturn of over 14% in 2009 due to the global economic crisis, which has eroded the purchasing power of the population and is hitting hardest those below or not far above the poverty line. Despite the Government’s recent gains in poverty reduction in Armenia, overall the poverty rate increased from 27.6% in 2008 to 35% in 2011. In this context, USAID’s social protection programs work closely with the Armenian government and civil society to deliver vital social services to vulnerable populations, build sustainable models of social services delivery, and strengthen the capacity of the Government to implement its broad social reform agenda.
Social policy is one of the key reform areas that USAID/Armenia will assist the Armenian government to implement in the coming years, focusing on improved social services, particularly for the most vulnerable populations. The Mission will assist relevant government institutions in administering a sustainable pension system, providing community-based services for vulnerable populations (especially children), increasing civic trust in public services as well as creating the conditions for deinstitutionalizing orphans and vulnerable children. Following the precepts of USAID Forward, the Mission will maximize the use of government-to-government agreements to implement activities in this sector and build local sustainability.
Livelihood Improvement through Fostered Employment (LIFE) helps bring new approaches in order to increase the opportunities for disabled people to find jobs in the local labor market. The project works to identify and remove legislative barriers to employment of the disabled; develops systems for reintegrating the disabled into the labor force; and supports necessary institutional reforms.
The Pension Reform Implementation Project will provide technical assistance in support of pension reform implementation and provision of integrated social services with the aim of assisting individuals, households, and communities to better manage social risks and needs.
Pension Awareness and Financial Literacy - this program with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of RA helps strengthen the capacity of the Ministry to carry out public awareness campaigns and implement effective financial literacy projects by supporting the Pension System Awareness Center Foundation.
Enhancing the Quality of Services to Women Victims of Domestic Violence - this activity with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of RA helps improve the quality of services provided to women victims of domestic violence in Armenia through assessing the current capacity and addressing inefficiencies.
The Stakeholders Acting Together for Strengthened Child Protection in Armenia project is aimed at improving the well-being of most vulnerable children by building the human resources and institutional capacities of Armenia’s existing child protection system at national, regional, and community levels. The project assists in the development of a curriculum on children’s rights and mainstreaming it into the official curriculum of the Judicial School, and provides training for judges and court personnel using the child rights module. In addition, the project raises community awareness of child protection and children’s rights, helps link families to policy makers and service providers, and gives children opportunities to raise their concerns in their communities.
Last updated: October 11, 2013