Sustainable Livelihoods and Environment

Sustainable Livelihoods and Environment

Migration is among the most serious problems in today’s Armenia. The volume of migration flow increased particularly after the 1988 earthquake, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and in connection with the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Between 1988 and 2001, about 1.1 million people left Armenia, which is around a third of the country's total population.

Today, between 15 and 16 thousand people depart from the country each year, which represents about 0.5% of the overall population. Apart from corruption and violations of human rights, the main reason for migration is high unemployment, which has reached 27.5% of the working-age population today. People in Need therefore focuses on creating new jobs to increase the chances of the local population finding work at home. PIN is trying not only to discourage other people from migration, but also to motivate Armenians living abroad to return home.

Its activities mostly concern support for small businesses. They include not only retraining courses, but also the subsequent provision of small grants to allow people to launch their own business.

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Ongoing aid / Past aid programmes

Reviving the Art of Craft in Shirak Region

Reviving the Art of Craft in Shirak Region

Difficult economic situation in Armenia affects people in towns as well as rural areas, and has contributed to the high unemployment rate. To tackle unemployment and economic inequalities, People in Need is providing long-term support for small and medium sized businesses in Armenia, with recent projects focusing on different strategies for job creation in the regions of Shirak and Syunik.

Amasia, a rural municipality in the Shirak region, is known for its long tradition of sheep rearing and traditional wool crafts. People in Need together with our partners the Women Resource Center Development Foundation, the Shirak Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Amasia Municipality, have launched an initiative to revive and modernize the wool value chain and the art of wool crafts in the Shirak region to drive job creation and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Through this initiative, we intend to create 60 jobs by establishing a wool-processing factory, increase the employability of 148 women and men through upskilling in wool crafts, and increase the competitiveness of 15 small and medium-sized enterprises along the wool value chain (from sheep shearing to the production of various woolen items, to distribution and branding).
EU4Tourism: Outdoor adventures on historic trails in Syunik

EU4Tourism: Outdoor adventures on historic trails in Syunik

To boost tourism, the economy and employment in the Syunik region of Armenia, People in Need has launched a project to develop a tourist trail called the “Trail of Saved Manuscripts”. The route will span approximately 250 km and facilitate exploration of many of the area’s impressive natural and heritage sites. Development of this trail will promote alternative, eco-friendly tourism in this area, which focuses on the rural communities inhabiting the area, enabling them to benefit sustainably from the growing influx of tourists, particularly through employment.

The trails will also increase economic opportunities for many of the approximately 10,000 people living along the route, as they are encouraged to develop tourism businesses. As part of the project, certain business initiatives will be selected for financial support. Some examples of such potential businesses include: home-based guesthouses and small restaurants; traditional crafts and food and beverage production; guide services; equipment rental including hiking, camping, fishing, bicycle and rock climbing equipment; horse-riding and more! Grantees will be given the greatest possible support to help them establish and develop their business.

Beyond increasing economic and employment opportunities, the project also aims to empower civil society in Syunik to take an active role in poverty reduction, planning and sustainable development at the local level. Civil society organizations and local authorities in Syunik will work together in creating incentives for sustainable development and job creation along the trail.
Support for vulnerable groups and their integration into society

Support for vulnerable groups and their integration into society

Social services provided by the state are still at a very low level in Armenia. Social workers lack the necessary qualifications and experience and the services offered thus often fail to provide the necessary level of service to clients. Under projects aimed at the repatriation of returnees from abroad, People in Need provided social and legal counselling in five regional resource centres in the following regions: Gegharkunik, Shirak, Kotayk, Lori and Yerevan, areas suffering from the highest rate of migration between 2009 and 2012. The current follow-up project continues providing support through migration information and counselling resource centres in the following Armenian regions: Ararat, Armavir, Vayots Dzor and Syunik.

In total as of April 2015, counselling services had been provided to over 7,000 beneficiaries. A helpline was another effective tool, offering advice to another 2,100 potential migrants and returnees.
 

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