CSP approved at EB.A/2019
In April and May of 2018, a series of peaceful demonstrations dubbed "the velvet revolution" led to a change in political power in Armenia, with the new Government promising wide-ranging reforms. Recent elections have solidified the political transition and demonstrated confidence in the new Government to deliver on promises of reform. Despite macroeconomic progress and structural reforms implemented during the last decade, growth has been weak and unevenly distributed in the country, and a rising state debt has put pressure on the budget, hindering the implementation of national social safety nets and driving many Armenians to emigrate in search of economic opportunities elsewhere. Although the country has made significant progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in areas such as maternal and child health, access to safe and reliable water supply, and improved sanitation in urban areas, more effort is needed to reduce poverty and food insecurity. Food insecurity affects 16 percent of the population in Armenia and is primarily an issue of access, which is exacerbated by poverty, gender inequalities and geographical factors. Malnutrition is a concern, evidenced by high rates of stunting for children under 5, while overweight and anaemia are also prevalent, particularly among women of reproductive age. Lack of data is a major challenge to addressing malnutrition in Armenia and more effort is needed to expand the evidence base in support of nutrition-sensitive and targeted activities.
WFP’s flagship activity in Armenia has been school feeding. WFP has worked with the Government and partners to develop a comprehensive model of school feeding, and the handover of school feeding activities to the Government began in 2014. Under this country strategic plan for 2019 to 2024, WFP will not only continue to support the Government to ensure a smooth handover of school feeding, it will also work to develop a more sustainable and innovative home-grown model that is more nutritious and benefits vulnerable communities. At the request of the Government and in cooperation with partners and the Rome-based agencies, WFP will expand technical support to the Government to include important areas identified in the national strategic review, including on generating evidence to inform nutrition and emergency preparedness efforts.
Accordingly, this country strategic plan contains two strategic outcomes:
- Strategic outcome 1: Vulnerable populations in Armenia, including schoolchildren, have access to adequate and nutritious food year round.
- Strategic outcome 2: National policies, programmes and systems are strengthened so that they improve food security and nutrition among targeted groups by 2024.
These strategic outcomes contribute directly to WFP Strategic Results 1 and 5 as well as Sustainable Development Goals 2 on improving access to food, 17 on strengthening the capacity of governments and 4 on ensuring quality education. WFP will support the Government to ensure inclusive and equitable education in Armenia, improved livelihoods for the vulnerable and better nutrition information and evidence, fostering equitable opportunities and equal access to resources for all people. The country strategic plan is in line with the priorities identified through the 2018 national strategic review and the focus on human capital development and the improvement of social protection set out in the Armenia development strategy 2014–2025, as well as the goals of the Armenia United Nations development assistance framework (2016–2020).