Supporting the ongoing democratic transition in Armenia, building on the momentum of 2018's Velvet Revolution.
2019 - 2022
WHY USAID/OTI WAS IN ARMENIA
In April 2018, peaceful protests across Armenia, known as the Velvet Revolution, culminated in the resignation of Prime Minister (PM) and former President, Serzh Sargsyan. In May 2018, Armenians elected protest leader and opposition parliamentarian Nikol Pashinyan as the new PM, launching a democratic transition. While the new Government of Armenia (GoAM) focused on its reform agenda, the COVID-19 pandemic and conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region significantly stressed the young administration. The program’s initiatives were to advance the USG’s goals in the Caucasus, which include assisting Armenia to succeed as a secure, prosperous, and democratic country that is better able to fight corruption and improve governance.
USAID/OTI’s ROLE IN ARMENIA
USAID/OTI’s Armenia program focused on sustaining positive momentum for the post-revolution government to improve prospects for enduring democracy in Armenia. The program sought to:
- Advance reforms in the executive branch of the GoAM and key public institutions that improve transparency and reduce corruption; and
Address emerging challenges that could threaten citizens’ confidence in democratic governance.
USAID/OTI augmented the GoAM’s reform agenda by providing technical assistance, equipment, and training to ministries, press secretaries, governors, and the PM’s Office. Through these efforts, USAID/OTI helped the GoAM demonstrate progress to its citizens, who are eager for the change promised during the Velvet Revolution.
USAID/OTI supported the GoAM’s immediate efforts to mitigate COVID-19’s impact through technical assistance for strategic communications, IT equipment for emergency response and telework, medical supplies and surge personnel, and food packages for vulnerable families. The program’s response to rapid requests during this period allowed USAID/OTI to be at the forefront of the USG’s early response to the COVID-19, while seeking to ensure that the crisis does not undermine citizen confidence in democratic governance.
USAID/OTI enabled local governments to address citizens’ needs by providing in-kind assistance to resolve community-identified issues, thus demonstrating that the democratic government prioritized the needs of all Armenians. The assistance USAID/OTI provided helped to meet community priorities in Syunik Marz--with a specific focus on newly-designated border villages and other areas affected by the conflict--such as livelihoods assistance and psychosocial support.