The project launch at the UN House in Yerevan

The EU and UNDP initiative will apply new lenses and approaches to local economic development.

Yerevan, 12 November 2021 – The European Union together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia, kicked off the new Mayors for Economic Growth Facility (M4EG). The M4EG Facility will run up to 2024 and encourage local authorities in Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries to use innovative development methods that are both fair to all, and friendly to the environment.

Today, Andrea Wiktorin, EU Ambassador to Armenia, Gnel Sanosyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, representatives of government agencies responsible for local self-governance, as well as international organizations and media attended the official launch of the EU-funded and UNDP implemented M4EG Facility in Armenia.

“Local authorities have an important role to play in inclusive and green recovery. Through the Mayors for Economic Growth Facility, the European Union will support Armenian local authorities in finding innovative solutions to respond to complex societal challenges focusing on sustainable economic growth, job creation and improved living standards for citizens across Armenia,” said Andrea Wiktorin, EU Ambassador to Armenia.

“Introducing innovation and new approaches to development challenges is at the core of UNDP mandate. M4EG is a relevant and timely mechanism that seeks to shoulder local communities’ recovery after the compound crisis. It intends to develop the capabilities of relevant partners to promote inclusive and green economic recovery and job creation. The communities will design and implement a new generation of Local Economic Development Plans in line with the principles of good governance, mainstreaming gender, inclusivity, and innovations in community planning,” said Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.

The cascading effects of the COVID-19 crisis and climate change are complex and dynamic challenges that continuously evolve. Addressing them separately and with pre-existing solutions, which may have worked in a different context and understanding, is insufficient. Thus, the new Mayors Facility seeks to address these, and other challenges met by cities in the EaP region.

To support the implementation of local economic plans, together with the EU, UNDP will introduce an approach that is currently being piloted within the organization, called a portfolio approach. Moreover, cities in the network will benefit from training and knowledge exchange activities focused on the development of innovative growth strategies. This will entail support in developing a new generation of local economic development plans, strategic thinking, and building urban resilience. On annual basis, municipalities could apply for Portfolio Call for Interests and Innovation Call for Proposals.

During the first phase of the initiative, more than 30 communities have designed and implemented improved local economic development plans in Armenia. In line with continuous capability development, the Facility will provide funding opportunities for local authorities, and the communities will develop and implement their own innovative solutions to stimulate and accelerate local development․

For media enquiries:

In Armenia:

In UNDP Regional Hub:

·         Anton Sydorenko, M4EG Facility Communications Lead, anton.sydorenko@undp.org

For M4EG Facility related enquiries:

In Armenia:

·         Zhirayr Edilyan, National Project Coordinator M4EG Facility, zhirayr.edilyan@undp.org

In UNDP Regional Hub:

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