Second Social Services Complex Opens in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A new social service center opened in the Armenian city of Masis on November 2–to launch an experimental USAID program.

The center–"One Stop Social Services," will house several local NGOs including–the Territorial Agency of Social Services–Territorial Center of Employment–Territorial Office of State Fund of Social Insurance–and the Commission of Medical-Social Expert Examination.

Each NGO will take advantage of a networked computer system that will allow them to access larger databases. The technologically advanced system will centralize information and eliminate the need for multiple document submissions by those applying for services.

Minister of Labor and Social Issues Aghvan Vardanian–announced that the specific database technology is being studied by Romanian–Albanian–and Georgian specialists–who are interested in introducing similar systems in their respective countries.

At the opening of the center–US Ambassador to Armenia John Evans expressed hope that the new center would help alleviate the social and economic problems residents of Masis and its neighboring towns currently face.

The town of Masis is currently home to 4,000 needy families–1,500 unemployed–and 3,000 pensioners and disabled persons.

"One Stop Social Services" is the second center of its kind in the republic. The first was established in the city of Vanadzor.

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