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InternationalPolitical

Funded by the Government of Serbia, UNDP Launches the “Resilience from the Start” Project in Armenia

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia, together with the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia and the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, launched a new EUR 1 million “Resilience from the Start” project on July 8, 2024.

The initiative will address the needs of host population and refugees in Armenia, including in the recent  flood affected communities, through a set of durable solutions to support societal cohesion by investing into empowerment of women and youth, innovative service delivery models at the local level, and deployment of “green” water and energy solutions. The initiative is  funded by the Government of Serbia and will be implemented by UNDP, in partnership with the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure.

Vache Terteryan, RA Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Paruyr Hovhannisyan, RA Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Tatjana Panajotović Cvetković, Ambassador of Serbia to Armenia, and Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, welcomed the event participants, which brought together representatives of the government institutions, donor community, local self-government bodies, civil society organizations and media.

“I am confident that thanks to the project, the refugees will be able to integrate into the host communities very quickly. Within the framework of the allocated grant, the communities, most affected by the flood, will be able to restore green energy solutions and climate smart water management practices. In this period of time, such help is more than appropriate, and I am sure that after some time we will register tangible positive changes,” noted Vache Terteryan, RA Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure.

RA Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paruyr Hovhannisyan emphasized the centuries-old friendship of the people of Armenia and Serbia. “This project is of great importance in addressing the humanitarian challenges in Armenia,” said the RA Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“This aid from Serbia to Armenia, which creates a new role of Serbia as a development partner of Armenia, is a true reflection of the strong bonds, deep rooted solidarity and friendship between our two nations. Serbia has always stood in solidarity with Armenia, as it does today, when we also mark one important jubilee – 30 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries, while the humanitarian aid represents significant milestone in our partnership. We are very proud of the cooperation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia with UNDP and the Government of the Republic of Armenia in this regard,” said H.E. Tatjana Panajotović Cvetković, Ambassador of Serbia to Armenia.

Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, thanked the Government of Serbia for the generous funding and recognized the successful partnership with the Government of Armenia at all levels.

“At UNDP, our unwavering commitment to sustainable development and leaving no one behind is at the heart of our mission. We are dedicated to empowering women and youth from both refugee and host communities, amplifying their voices and providing leadership opportunities to foster inclusive growth and strengthen social cohesion. Additionally, we will champion integrated water and green energy solutions. Our efforts will extend to supporting flood-affected areas, providing much-needed relief and recovery, fostering resilience and sustainability in every community we serve.

UNDP will collaborate with municipalities, including in the flood affected areas, and will engage vulnerable youth and women in the co-design, implementation and monitoring of the public space transformation. This will increase their sense of ownership, enhance social cohesion and integration by tailoring solutions to the emerging needs of the communities.

In close cooperation with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, UNDP will make sure that mobile hybrid solar systems are deployed for uninterrupted energy access, and rural communities in Armenia have access to irrigation to maximize the efficiency of water and land resources. The interventions will include climate-smart, small-scale water storage facilities and distribution networks, which will enhance social cohesion through equal access to irrigation and strengthen livelihoods of the local population.