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Stronger livelihoods help Armenian families manage current crisis


Stronger livelihoods help Armenian families manage current crisis

Organizational surveys


Supporting rural Armenians helps them face the COVID-19 pandemic with more confidence

05/25/2020

Life in a rural environment has its beauty and its difficulties. However, Kiyaram Khachatryan says he would not at all want to trade his village life in northern Armenia for a city life, even after losing almost everything in 1988. In other words, he lost everything except his maid mood and hope. Thank goodness these are also two essential tools for the current crisis.

“It’s of course a difficult time for everyone,” says Qayaram. “However, I think we are lucky that our family benefited from the FAO pilot project.”

This young farmer, father of four, lives in his mother’s small house, working hard in the garden and fields and doing seasonal work to make ends meet for his family of seven.

Their situation improved about two years ago, when Qayaram’s mother, along with 132 other families covered by the government’s social protection program, received agricultural support and equipment through the Cash+ project. ). For a Food and Agriculture Organization projectfunded by the Russian Federation.

The benefits due to them in terms of social protection only cover the urgent needs of the family. However, the Cash+ pilot project goes beyond simple financial support, providing families with inputs to help them exploit the agricultural potential that the land offers.

The 30 chickens and mulberry trees delivered to the Khachatryans provided them with additional income, creating a better financial base and softening the blow in times of crisis. The whole family helped more than double the herd, allowing them to eat higher protein and more varied foods and generate additional income by selling the surplus. Children like eating eggs more than taking care of animals.

They also sought to become self-sufficient in the production of chicken feed by growing crops designated for this purpose on a plot of land nearby.

Alongside this concrete support, Qairam also participated in the trainings offered by the project, learning more about the importance of maintaining a healthy and diverse diet and practicing food safety at home.

Things are going well for this family.

Stronger livelihoods help Armenian families manage current crisis
Stronger livelihoods help Armenian families manage current crisis

Left: Kiram’s mother Lyuba grows beans in her garden. Right: Qayaram feeds the chickens. © FAO/Karen Minassian

Then the Covid-19 epidemic hit this Caucasian country in early March. School closures, restrictions on the movement of people, and other restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the virus, while necessary for public health, have affected the economy and hampered agricultural production.

Understand the impact

FAO conducted a rapid assessment to collect information on the ground to determine how restrictions implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19 have affected the economy, changed livelihoods and affected food security and nutrition rural communities.

FAO staff, who interviewed Cash+ beneficiary households by telephone in the country’s two poorest provinces, asked households about their state of health, the impact of the emergency on their work, their agricultural work , their access to food and changes in their consumption habits. market conditions, market access and price changes.

Reassuringly, the assessment found that even in districts with the highest incidence of child malnutrition and stunting, vulnerable rural families, including Kiram families, who received training, livestock and fodder from FAO to supplement social cash transfers, had a more balanced diet. , in general, a stronger financial base to face the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stronger livelihoods help Armenian families manage current crisis

Over the past four years, FAO’s CASH+ pilot project has supported vulnerable rural households, numbering more than 800 people, in their livelihoods and made them more resilient to shocks such as the current crisis. ©FAO/Karen Minassian

“(At that time) we felt so encouraged that we decided to increase the number of chickens, which was a wise decision because now I can’t do casual work and our family mainly depends on these chickens. We manage the situation. good and I hope things change soon.

Previous support from the Monetary Fund (CASH+) has improved the resilience of smallholder households.

Thanks to regular social cash transfers provided by the government, families are still able to purchase food and meet other basic needs during this emergency. The support provided by the organization also helped households stabilize their situation and build a stronger foundation, allowing them to continue agricultural production, despite restrictions resulting from the emerging coronavirus pandemic and disruptions to supply chains , thus preserving their livelihoods.

Links related to the topic

Strengthening food security and nutrition in the Caucasus and Central Asia

FAO’s work in Armenia integrates technical assistance with support for national policy development, with the aim of strengthening the nutritional aspects of social protection programs, promoting nutritional education and promoting agricultural investments.

Building stronger foundations for vulnerable Armenian families by preserving their livelihoods is essential to ensure that families are able to weather periods of crises and shocks and subsequently accelerate their recovery. While the new outbreak of the Corona virus represents the current crisis, world hunger represents the greatest crisis. FAO helps families maintain the resilience of their livelihoods and maintain their food security, ensuring that Armenia and countries around the world are on track to achieve their goals. A world without hunger.

For more information

Website: Building capacity to improve food security and nutrition

video tape: Strengthening food security and nutrition in the Caucasus and Central Asia

Website: New coronavirus (Covid-19)

Website: FAO and Cash+ project: How to get the most out of cash transfers

Website: Social protection

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