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Social and Economic Self-determination in Rural Areas

The contents of this web-page is the sole responsibility of Armenian Caritas and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

The European Union's NSALA project for Armenia

This is a three year project, which will run in 2009-2012. The project is co-funded by the European Union and Caritas International in Belgium. The total budget is 215,750 Euro, from which 90% is covered by EU, and 10 % by Caritas International in Belgium.

Local economic and social development of rural Armenia is essential if Armenia is to become a true democracy with a fully engaged, civilly active employed population. The problems begin at a social level, and unfold into a broad web of dysfunction at an economic level, abetted by a political system that is at its best indifferent to its rural constituencies.

Social and economic progress as well as most of the GDP growth is limited to Yerevan, the home of 40% of the population. The ever-widening gap between the rural areas and the capital is becoming an increasing problem. The unemployment rate in villages is staggering, ranging from 20 - 60 %, depending on the season. Existing businesses are modest retail or agro-based operations, many unprofitable and operated without any knowledge of traditional business principles.

Many social issues remain unexamined and unresolved. Major development barriers include the debilitating belief among many rural Armenians that they are incapable of helping themselves and the dominance of a self-interested political subsystem in the country (overshadowing administrative, economic, social and non-governmental subsystems).

To contribute to the social and economic development of rural Armenia, Armenian Caritas implements in Gegharkunik, Lori and Shirak Regions three year "Social and Economic Self-determination in Rural Areas" project. Armenian Caritas implements the project in close cooperation with local organisations; Ghegharkunik Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ghegharkunik region, Gyumri Development Centre in Shirak region and "Crossing Roads" Social NGO in Lori region.

The overall objective of the project is to create profound positive change through provision of economic and social development opportunities in 15 Armenian villages so they become self-reliant and involved in improving their communities through a values-driven participatory systemic approach.

The main directions of the project are:

  • To increase the capacity of participating local partner NGOs including working together for increased effectiveness.
  • Create and strengthen new models of behavior enabling a change in attitudes about community responsibility.
  • Contribute to the improvement of social and economic conditions in targeted sites strengthening the capacity of local community action groups to gain practical experience in functioning through community engagement and collaboration with local government.
  • Reinforce democratic principles through mentality change, small and successful community projects and new small businesses

Delegation of the European Commission to Armenia

21 Frik str,Yerevan,Armenia
Tel:(374 10)54 64 94
Fax:(374 10)54 64 95
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This project is implemented in collaboration with

Ghegharkunik Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Gyumri Development Centre
"Crossing Roads" Social NGO

Partners: European Union and Caritas Belgium

Project manager: Gayane Norikyan

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