This Operation has been modified as per Budget Revision 1 (see below).
The Republic of Armenia has suffered the effects of the recent food and fuel price hikes and the global financial crisis. Classified as a lower-middle-income food-deficit country, Armenia has experienced a deeper recession than most countries; GDP declined by 15 percent in 2009. Poverty, food insecurity and social vulnerability increased during 2008 and 2009.
In response to the negative impact of the crisis on schoolchildren and budgetary constraints on social safety net expenditure resulting from the recession, WFP will assist schoolchildren in poor rural areas for a period of three years, while helping to establish a permanent nationally owned school feeding programme.
Development project 200128 will provide a nutritionally balanced meal for 50,000 primary schoolchildren in the most vulnerable and food-insecure regions. It aims to mitigate the impact of the economic and social crisis on vulnerable households by improving the access of poor rural children to primary education. The project will also support the design of a sustainable and affordable national school feeding policy and programme embedded in national priorities and budgets. The Government has shown an interest in adopting school feeding as a productive safety net that will contribute to the social and economic development of the country.
WFP previously assisted schools in Armenia through the protracted relief and recovery operation “Transitional Relief and Recovery Assistance for Vulnerable Groups”. Building on the positive lessons learned from the operation concerning school feeding, WFP will work with the Russian non-governmental organization Social and Industrial Food Services Institute (SIFI) and other development partners to provide policy advice and technical support to the Government for the development of a sustainable school feeding programme with links to local agricultural production and processing.
The project is aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2010–2015), and contributes to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 1 and 2 and WFP’s Strategic Objectives 4 and 5.