UNDP launches community week advocacy initiative …


May 11 2004

YEREVAN, MAY 11, ARMENPRESS: Today, the Ministry of Territorial
Administration and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
officially started the Community Week advocacy initiative with two
major events in Tavoush, one of the most remote regions of Armenia.
The events were attended by the Governor of Tavoush, four deputy
ministers from the Ministries of Territorial Administration,
Agriculture, Nature Protection, Trade and Economic Development
and the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative. The
events included the inauguration of the fully rehabilitated secondary
school in Voskepar village and the creation of a Village Development
Foundation in Koty community.

In the framework of UNDP’s Community Development Project, the secondary
school in Voskepar has been fully renovated, including installation
of a new heating system. The Armenian Social Investment Fund (ASIF)
and the Governor’s office have provided the school with new furniture
and materials and the local community has provided a seven percent
in-kind contribution to the project.

In Koty village, UNDP’s Agricultural and Rural Development Coordination
Unit, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, have facilitated
the development of a Koty Community Strategy Development Plan for
2004-2008. A working group representing all main social groups in
the local population has worked to develop a comprehensive plan
aimed at addressing various problems in the community. To ensure
the successful implementation of the Plan, Koty is establishing a
Community Development Foundation. The Foundation will be formed
by donations from community members, former Koty villagers and
international organisations.

According to Ms. Grande: “UNDP is committed to supporting communities
throughout the country. We recognise that the country’s strength is
its communities and that through partnerships we can and should help
communities help themselves. The inauguration of Voskepar school and
the launching of the Koty Village Development Foundation are wonderful
events to mark the beginning of Community Week, an advocacy initiative
of UNDP Armenia and the Ministry of Territorial Administration aimed
at raising public awareness about ongoing legislative and other
reforms affecting communities and contributing to discussions on
community-related issues.”

Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration, Mr. Vache Terteryan,
noted: “The Government of Armenia has adopted an approach to
delegate more authority to our communities in order to make them more
viable in the long run. Currently, most of the communities are in
need of considerable assistance especially in terms of quality and
accessibility of social and health services and education. In this
respect, we are grateful for UNDP’s attention and ongoing support to
our efforts aimed at community development, and we are confident that
our successful cooperation will continue in future.”

Background: UNDP cooperation to date in the area of community and
rural development in Tavoush region amounts around USD 750,000. Three
schools and eight primary healthcare facilities have been rehabilitated
by UNDP. In addition, UNDP supports the Tavoush Farmers Association,
which provides technical support and various services to approximately
1,000 rural households in seven communities.