ARMAVIR (hetq) — Poverty in the rural communities of Armenia is higher than in urban areas due to a lack of economic opportunities and the poor quality of public services,such as healthcare, education and social protection.
The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP’s) experience worldwide and in Armenia over the past 20 years suggests that poverty is a complex and multidimensional phenomena, which is context specific and addressing it requires concerted and comprehensive efforts across all levels of government and all sectors of the economy.
A home grown and effective approach that was spearheaded by the UNDP in an attempt to improve people’s wellbeing is the Integrated Community Development approach.
Communities’ needs are best addressed when the intervention is holistic, focusing on the three pillars of sustainable development (e.g. social, economic and environmental) and fostering decentralization, good local governance and democracy.
Agricultural activities are the main source of employment and income generation for the residents of Baghramyan, Arevadasht, Artamet and Myasnikyan rural communities of Baghramyan sub-region (hereinafter, micro-region) in the Armavir region. The poor conditions of the irrigation and water supply networks, the lack of agricultural equipment and the obsolete machinery, as well as the lack of knowledge about new agricultural technologies are the underlying reasons behind the low level of agricultural productivity and high level of poverty in the micro-region.
During recent years investments have been made by Fruitful Armenia in this region in the fields of vineyards, orchards for vegetables and fruits, water reservoirs, drip irrigation and moderncultivation methods, which overall, positively impacted on the socio-economic growth in the micro-region.
Capitalizing on the successful past experience of UNDP and the Fruitful Armenia in local development, Dafina Gercheva, UN resident coordinator/UNDP resident representative in Armenia, and Eduardo Eurnekian, a prominent Argentinean- Armenian businessman, signed an agreement to support agricultural and microbusiness activities in the Baghramyan, Arevadasht, Artamet and Myasnikyan communities. This partnership is aimed at promoting economic revitalization of the micro-region and improving the living standards of the population.