Tag Archives: grant

On 17 February, the EU Ambassador to Armenia, Piotr Świtalski, made a one-day working visit to Gyumri, Shirak region. The day began with official meetings with Hovsep Simonyan, the Governor of Shirak region, and Samvel Balasanyan, the Mayor of Gyumri. The parties discussed development priorities for the region and the city, focusing on the cultural and creative sectors.
Later on, at a press conference, Ambassador Świtalski announced the launch of the €1 million Grant Scheme for Regional Development. This is aimed at ensuring economic growth, creating jobs and reducing emigration by promoting culture and the creative sector in Shirak region.

ARS_7522The Ambassador highlighted the importance of the project, especially in Shirak region: ‘Gyumri is one of the best places to launch a project to develop the economy through culture. Gyumri has cultural potential and huge capacity. The EU is very adamant to promoting regional development in Armenia. We believe that one of the obstacles confronting Armenia is the imbalance between the capital and the regions. In order to develop successfully and in a sustainable way, this gap should be filled. Therefore, we believe that the EU Delegation to Armenia should be orientated towards the purpose of regional development’.

This grant scheme is the second call for proposals under the Pilot Regional Development Programme Grant Scheme (PRDP GS). The overall objective of PRDP GS is to create more economic opportunities in the Armenian regions.The first call for proposals was published in September 2015 and 7 PRDP grant contracts were signed with the EU and the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration as a result. Project implementation started at the beginning of this year.
The second call for proposals will select one or two additional regional projects focused on culture and innovation for funding. Eligible organisations from all regions can apply if they find a suitable regional partner from the target region.
The available budget for this second call for proposals is almost €1 million, of which €700,000 is provided by the European Union and €175,000 by the Armenian government. Applicants have to provide a minimum of 10% in co-financing themselves. Selected projects should be implemented within a maximum of 24 months. The deadline for the submission of concept notes is 24 March 2017. Full project proposals will be elaborated only by short-listed candidates.

ARS_7862In the evening, Ambassador Świtalski, Governor Simonyan and Mayor Balasanyan met again at a concert of classical music. The concert entitled ‘Culture and Development: Building Bridges’ marked the launch of the grant scheme which will promote the development of cultural and creative sectors in Shirak region.

The EU Delegation to Armenia and the Armenian Young Women’s Association (AYWA) organised a press briefing for journalists on 11 March 2015 in Akhtala within the framework of the EU-funded project called “Social and economic empowerment of women in Armenia”. The aim of the event was to introduce the public to ongoing achievements of the project and to celebrate International Women’s Day together.
The head of AWYA, Lilit Asatryan, spoke about the EU’s support for women’s empowerment in Armenia: ‘About 140 women and young ladies have taken part in training courses as part of the project. Overall, about 62 business ideas have been introduced by the participants, 12 of which are group tasks. 14 of the introduced projects have received positive feedback and have been implemented by women: 1 project in Akhtala and 2 in Alaverdi. The other 11 projects that received positive feedback are awaiting final approval with regard to registration and documentation; they will also receive financing in the form of a grant’.
ARS_3253Three women have already received financial support under the project. Armenouhi Mamyan’s bakery was reopened after technical support provision. Irina Israelyan received financial support for developing a hostel business and founding a camping area. Finally, equipment for baking production was provided to Anahit Jaghinyan.
Besides the above mentioned, there is also one project that has received a grant in Akhtala which is a social entrepreneurship project through which a Puppet Theatre was founded. Previously, puppet theatre performances had to be organised in different communities across Lori region.
The Deputy Governor of Lori, Arsen Darbinyan, and the Mayor of Akhtala, Hayk Khachikyan, were present at the event. They actively offered support during project implementation together with the heads of the Akhtala and Alaverdi communities. ‘It will be very good if such kind of projects would continue, because women’s social issues are being solved with their help. These projects are very important for all of us,’ stated Darbinyan.
ARS_3244The Lori regional communities of Aktala, Alaverdi, Shamlugh, Shnogh, Teghut, Medz Ayrum, Odzun, Haghpat, Chochkan and Akori founded “Women’s Councils” within the framework of the project. These councils have actively been taking part in community life, in decision-making processes, in raising awareness on women’s problems, and in solving these problems in cooperation with the wider community.
The EU contribution to the project is €768,357. The programme is being implemented by AYWA, Italian NGO “CISP”, the Office of the Governor of Lori, and the municipality of Vanadzor. The duration of the project is three years, until April 2016.
At the end of the event, a theatre troupe founded within the framework of the project performed “Little Red Riding Hood”.

On 16 January 2015 a ceremony of launching eight agreements signed between the EU and Armenia was held at the office of the Armenian Prime Minister. The ceremony was welcomed by the Prime Minister, Mr Hovik Abrahamyan, and the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, and attended by representatives of beneficiary government institutions, EU member states, and international organisations.

These eight EU-Armenia financing agreements are intended to assist development and reform with a total EU contribution of €77.5 million (AMD 44 billion). Within the framework of these agreements, progress in some of the main areas of bilateral cooperation will be supported, including agriculture, regional development, capacity building for EU programme implementation, migration and integrated border management, anti-corruption and civil service reforms, water supply improvement, Yerevan metro rehabilitation, and nuclear safety.LUM_1536
‘We know that Armenia is an important partner for the EU, in the same way the EU is an important partner for Armenia. The European Union expects that this substantial assistance will lead to bold reforms over the next few years. A high level of commitment and strong domestic support under parliamentary and civil society oversight will be indispensable for Armenia’s successful development.,’ noted Ambassador Hristea.
Prime Minister Abrahamyan mentioned in his speech that significant reforms are taking place in Armenia: “The government and I are going to do everything we can in order to ensure that relations between the European Union and Armenia progress’.LUM_1461 Two of the agreements in the package concern EU support to economic development in Armenia to contribute to poverty reduction. This includes assistance to agriculture and rural development (€25 million) to bring about efficient and sustainable agriculture, increased employment, stronger farmers’ associations and cooperatives, and improved access to affordable food. In addition, through action on regional development (€10 million), the EU will support specific projects (public-private partnerships, employment creation, training of the labour force) to step up economic development in Armenia’s regions. In the area of governance, the EU is now focusing specifically on anti-corruption and civil service reform measures (€21 million). The EU will also support border management and migration (€4 million) in view of the Mobility Partnership and Visa Facilitation agreements with Armenia.

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Another agreement (€6 million) will build civil servants’ capacity, facilitate Armenia’s participation in EU programmes and reinforce civil society’s role in promoting bilateral cooperation and monitoring reforms. Two large infrastructure initiatives have also been agreed, set to improve the daily lives of the residents of Yerevan. One will provide an overhaul of the Yerevan metro system (€5 million) by addressing public health and safety concerns, while another will support the rehabilitation of the water supply network in Yerevan (€5.5 million), improving water and wastewater services. Last but not least, the EU will support nuclear safety through enhancing the regulatory capacity and framework for radioactive waste management (€1 million).

A public presentation of the details, objectives and perspectives of the Armenia-Turkey Travel Grant took place at the EU Centre on 4 September. The event was organised by the Hrant Dink Foundation Armenia office under an EU-funded project.
The coordinator of the project, Anna Yeghoyan, highlighted that the project was initiated in order to establish direct connections between Armenia and Turkey, and to promote cooperation between the two countries and their citizens. She then introduced the beneficiaries of former cycles of the grant.

The Armenia-Turkey Travel Grant was launched on March 2014 aimed at supporting the travel of at least 200 individuals over the course of 12 months. The project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union. The Hrant Dink Foundation administers the Travel Grant in partnership with the Civilitas Foundation in Armenia, and with the support of Community Volunteers Foundation (Turkey) and the Youth Initiative Centre (based in Gyumri, Armenia).

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In the first round, 29 individuals (22 from Turkey, 7 from Armenia) were supported by the grant for their visits. In the second round a total of 51 more applicants (34 from Turkey, 17 from Armenia) received financial support for their visits. These visits had a specific purpose and programme like participation in an art forum or research on frontier villages. The Armenia-Turkey Travel Grant will continue to support more beneficiaries in the coming months until 1 March 2015.