Natural disasters, chronic and persistent poverty, and sudden economic and financial downturns and violent conflicts impose significant hardships and undercut prospects for sustainable development, peace and stability, spilling into all aspects of people’s lives, destroying entire communities and crossing national borders. Unfortunately, this is not a distant truth, but one that threats many citizens of the world and of Armenia particularly.
Today, the United Nations in Armenia launched a new project - “Enhancing Human Security in Communities of Armenia,” which is funded by United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security. This 3-year, USD 2 million project will be implemented jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Food Programme (WFP), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The goal of the project is to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in targeted Alaverdi, Amasia, Berd and Tumanyan consolidated communities of Armenia by strengthening community resilience, social protection and inclusiveness to improve human security, and address the economic and food insecurity through strengthened livelihoods, creation of sustainable economic opportunities and capacity building.
By identifying the concrete needs and vulnerabilities of the population, the project will apply people-centered, comprehensive, context-specific and prevention-oriented solutions for integrated human security approach in the targeted communities.
In his welcoming speech Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia, gave a high importance to the proportional development of the state. While the gap between urban and rural communities becomes wider, most of innovation, infrastructure and social service improvements, and productivity gains are concentrated in large cities, particularly in capital Yerevan.
This project is an excellent demonstration of the “UN as One” approach through its effective coordination design able to create synergies between new and ongoing projects and achievements from all six agencies, serving as a catalyst for local risk-informed community development, sustainable jobs and overall culture of resilience, becoming a model for further replication in other vulnerable communities of Armenia.
Chief of UN Human Security Unit Mehrnaz Mostafavi highlighted the distinctiveness of human security, as the project will focus on early prevention to minimize the impacts of insecurity, to generate long-term solutions, and to build human capacities for undertaking prevention. It will draw attention to a wide scope of threats faced by individuals and communities, focusing on root causes of insecurities with locally driven, comprehensive and sustainable people-centered solutions for the local communities and civil society.
The participants highlighted the challenges and opportunities of the ongoing community consolidation reform, under which smaller settlements are clustering into larger administrative units and, in this regard, they saluted any support specifically aimed at these new community units, helping to address existing vulnerabilities in the targeted communities.
The unprecedented and well-coordinated partnership between the Government of Armenia and the UN six implementing agencies was emphasized.