Britain to Carry Out Poverty Reduction Programs in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Department for International Development of Great Britain (DFID) is to begin the realization of the "On-spot Realization of Poverty Reduction" and "Management Reforms" programs in Armenia in September 2002. About $11.3 million will be allocated for this purpose. It was said during a "Planning of Bilateral Development Programs of Armenia-United Kingdom" three-day working meeting in Tsaghkadzor that the number of poor people in the Gegharkunik and Tavush regions is expected to be reduced by 18 percent by 2007. It is foreseen to make the measures realized in these regions a model to be introduced jointly with the Armenian government to other regions of the republic in the future.

British Ambassador to Armenia Timothy Jones is sure that the DFID will be able to overcome poverty in such a small country as Armenia with the help of the World Bank–the US Agency for International Development–the German Development Fund–the EU’s TACIS program and other donors. The purpose of the initiative is the implementation of the policies of poverty reduction at territorial and communal levels.

The Institute of Economic Researches attached to the Armenian Ministry of Finance carried out the "Main Directions of Poverty" social research at the preparatory stage of the programs. According to the Minister for Territorial Administration and Coordination of Infrastructure Activities Hovik Abrahamian–the programs will be brought in accordance with the strategic program of poverty reduction worked out by the Armenian government–and will be carried out on the basis of the results of the researches. But–according to Tigran Khachatrian–the coordinator of the governmental program’s working group–the DFID programs hadn’t been presented to the group before the Tsaghkadzor meeting.

According to Karine Danielian–the chairwoman of the "In the Name of Sustainable Human Development" public organization–deeper research on the "Natural Resources Management and Poverty Reduction" subject was carried out in these regions with the help of the World Bank two years ago–but the DFID wasn’t interested in the results.

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