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, the total poverty rate increased from 27.6% in 2008 to 32.4% in 2012 (Source: RA National Statistical Service). 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.
USAID will assist relevant government institutions in administering a sustainable pension system as well as in providing community-based services for vulnerable populations, especially institutionalized children and the disabled. Support will be provided to civil society organizations to improve formulation, advocacy and oversight of the social policy. USAID will also maximize the use of government-to-government agreements to implement activities in this sector and build local sustainability.
The Livelihood Improvement through Fostered Employment (LIFE) project applies new approaches to increase employment opportunities for disabled people 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 (PRIP) provides technical assistance to support Armenia in pension reform implementation and provision of integrated social services with the goal of helping individuals, households, and communities better manage social risks and needs.
Support for Pension Awareness and Improving Financial Literacy – through this direct grant project, USAID strengthens the capacity of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to carry out widespread public awareness campaigns on the new pension system and implement effective financial literacy projects.
Support for Implementation of Integrated Social Services System in Armenia and Introduction of New IT Tools for Staff’s Capacity Development – As part of this grant agreement with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, USAID supports the Government of Armenia’s initiative to establish an Integrated Social Services System (ISSS) and assists in developing the Government’s capacity to assess and analyze the interaction between existing social laws and the ISSS concept, identify gaps in the regulations for proper functioning of ISS Centers, and form a replicable model for provision of integrated social service nationwide.
Last updated: January 26, 2015