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Saturday, August 19, 2017

World Bank allocates $21.2 million to improve Armenian social services delivery

The World Bank Group's board of executive directors approved a $21.2 million credit on Tuesday for the second social protection administration project in Armenia.

The project will support the government's program to improve the delivery of social protection services and strengthen the analytical, monitoring and evaluation capabilities of the agencies providing them, Armenpress reports.

Social protection services deal with the country's prolonged unemployment and poverty, problems that disproportionately affect women.

"The main beneficiaries of the project will be vulnerable children, women and men, including senior citizens, who face multiple and complex livelihood challenges and are usually furthest away from the labor market," Jean-Michel Happi, the World Bank country manager for Armenia, said, according to Armenpress. "With the introduction of the integrated social services delivery model and new case management practices, Armenia has made substantial improvements in how the social protection system functions."

Armenia selected a model of functional integration of four existing agencies responsible for pensions, social assistance, employment and disability benefits. Under the first SPAP, the agencies were moved together into upgraded facilities with integrated management and information systems, and new case management procedures in 19 sites throughout Armenia.

"Vulnerable families often have incomplete information about available services and may find it particularly challenging to adequately choose the items that would maximize their well-being," Ivan Drabek, the World Bank task team leader for the project, said, according to Armenpress. "Nevertheless, we are convinced that through this project the needs of each family member will be adequately addressed and services will be delivered in a coordinated and coherent way."