UNDP and UNICEF present project on strengthening resilience, good governance and socio-economic security in target communities, supported by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

Yerevan, 17 February 2021 –UK Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton and British Chargé d’Affaires in Armenia Helen Fazey visited UN Armenia today where Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, and Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Armenia together with government officials, heads of communities and beneficiaries presented the joint project. In the framework of “Strengthening Stability and Resilience of the Bordering Communities in Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik and Syunik Regions” project (2020-2021), funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), partners aim to increase resilience and improve good governance and socio-economic security in borderline regions of Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor and Syunik in Armenia affected by COVID-19 and conflict.

UNDP presented the results of the socio-economic impact assessment of COVID-19, which was carried out in nine consolidated communities, looking at local level risk management (LLRM) and vulnerabilities in 21 communities in three target regions. The assessment also looked at the quality of community-based services in Gegharkunik region.

As part of the pilot phase of the project in 2020, partners established three community resilience teams and professional networks for social service workers, reinforced disaster management plans at 15 schools, 11 kindergartens and 10 health facilities, as well as equipped 30 schools with COVID-19 response supplies, in line with government guidelines.

The planned results for capacity building and awareness raising interventions were exceeded in terms of reach, coverage, and trainee satisfaction. 415 parents and caregivers from 22 communities were reached with information about emergency foster care, with over 200 parents expressing their interest to become foster parents. 70 displaced women and young people received upskilling and reskilling training with further job-placement.

In the three regions, social service workers were trained to provide mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), which became vitally important as borderline communities were affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The training reached and included social workers, social service providers from state institutions and non-governmental organizations, youth workers, and special pedagogues. UNICEF also established a helpline for social service workforce professionals (+37455086111), sustained by the Armenian Association of Social Workers, that received over 650 calls from August to December 2020.

In partnership with the Armenian Association of Social Workers, Armenian Association of Child and Educational Psychologists and Parenting School NGO, UNICEF developed gender responsive and age appropriate materials for professionals with a focus on MHPSS in the context of COVID-19 and provided capacity building interventions (training, coaching, mentoring, individual and group supervision and counselling, anti-burnout support) to 175 social service workforce professionals who ensure first psychological aid.

In 2021, UNDP and UNICEF will continue to train 250 vocational education and training (VET) faculty from 15 regional VET institutions in using electronic educational platforms and modern teaching technologies to expand the quality of VET services in these regions. To strengthen community resilience at the local level, partners have embarked on training of 90 representatives from community resilience teams and the civil society in disaster risk management principles and LLRM, while disaster risk management plans are being developed for Goris and Vardenis towns in Syunik and Gegharkunik regions respectively.

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About the project:

“Strengthening Stability and Resilience of the Bordering Communities in Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik and Syunik Regions” project is funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and implemented by UNDP and UNICEF in partnership with the Government of Armenia. The project contributes to advancing resilience, good governance and socio-economic security in border communities of Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor and Syunik.

Contact information:

Hovhannes Sarajyan (UNDP), hovhannes.sarajyan@undp.org; +37491420122

Zara Sargsyan (UNICEF), zsargsyan@unicef.org, +37477232169

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