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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Supports Innovative Social Assistance and Care by Empowerment in Armenia

March 1, 2013



Over 4000 Vulnerable and Disabled Members of Society will benefit

YEREVAN, March 1, 2013 – The World Bank Country Manager for Armenia Jean-Michel Happi and President of Mission Armenia, NGO, Hripsime Kirakosyan signed today the Grant Agreement for the "Strengthening the Livelihoods and Voice of the Poor and Vulnerable Persons in Armenia" Project.  The Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) generously supports the project with a grant of US$ 2, 7 million.

This Project has been designed in partnership with Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Armenia. It will promote self-reliance and empowerment among over 4,000 vulnerable and disabled persons in 15 urban locations in 6 regions of Armenia.  The piloted approaches and models could be scaled up and effectively used in other parts of the country.

The Project will support vocational and on-the-job training to enhance self-employment of the beneficiaries.  Moreover, it will support social and health care services at the community level, and empower people with disabilities by improving their ability to advocate for themselves.

“We are pleased to sign this Agreement with Mission Armenia, a distinguished civil society organization, as a recipient and implementing agency for this Project supported by the Japanese Grant,” said Jean-Michel Happi, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “It aims to integrate extremely needy and disabled people and help them become active participants in the society. The Project will improve employment of the vulnerable groups including people with disabilities so that they can support themselves rather than rely passively on social assistance and social care.”

The implementation of the project will be conducted by a local grass roots organization with over twenty-years of experience in initiating and establishing innovative, beneficiary strength and empowerment based programs.

In particular, this Project will contribute to the following outcomes:

  • About 800 persons with disabilities will gain increased professional qualifications and skills by completing vocational training or on-the-job training programs.  This will improve their employment opportunities and give them a competitive edge in the labor market.  About 200 of the most successful trainees will receive additional training in creation and management of micro-businesses;
  • About 40 beneficiaries with disabilities will successfully operate new businesses following  training and support through micro-grants;
  • About 4,000 beneficiaries will receive community-based social and health services, of which 2,000 will receive daily hot meals through 15 Day Care Centers to be established under the Project;
  • 12 public sites/buildings that are frequently used by persons with disabilities will have improved physical access; two Disability Resource Centers will be established, remodeled, and equipped.

The JSDF was established by the Government of Japan in 2000 as a means of supporting activities which directly respond to the needs of poor and vulnerable groups, enhance their capacities, and strengthen their empowerment and participation in the development process. The fund is administered by the World Bank. By mid-2012, the Government of Japan has contributed to the program over $625 million to support over 300 social development programs and projects.

JSDF grants are executed by NGOs/CSOs and local governments, implemented at the community level. These features make the JSDF program unique and responsive.

Media Contacts
In Yerevan
Vigen Sargsyan
Tel : (374 10) 520-992
vsargsyan@worldbank.org


PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/ECA/048

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