This document summarizes the actions undertaken by the Embassy of Switzerland in Armenia, including contributions of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation through its Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus (SCO) in Tbilisi in order to assist the Government of Armenia and various other actors in their efforts against the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Since March 2020, the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus (SCO), in the frame of its ongoing Cooperation Programme for the South Caucasus 2017-2020, has reallocated existing and mobilized new funds to address COVID-19 related issues in different domains.
Economic Development Response
Livestock Development in the South of Armenia program funds reallocation
Partner organization: Strategic Development Agency NGO
a. Intervention I: Funds have been reallocated for the purchase of thermometers and protective materials (uniforms, gloves, masks) for the National Food Safety Inspectorate that will allow their staff to perform their duties at the border points and in the food stores and enterprises
Duration: 01.04.2020 - 31.05.2020
b. Intervention II: An additional credit currently being under preparation will be utilized to address the requests for support by the Government and other stakeholders. Activities include measures to mitigate negative socio-economic consequences of the Corona crisis for Project beneficiaries, such as the provision of preventive and hygiene products for veterinarians implementing state livestock vaccination programs or actions requested for assuring health and safety regulations during the delivery of farm support and market services. Moreover, new economic opportunities shall be generated.
Duration: 01.09.2020 – 31.08.2021
Women in Local Democracy program funds reallocation
Partner organization: UNDP
Duration: 22.04.2020 – 30.05.2020
The project supports:
1) the vulnerable groups with the provision of humanitarian support and
2) the enlarged municipalities of Armenia in their efforts of strengthening the preparedness of the community to addressing COVID 19 related issues.
Improvement of the Local Self-Governance program funds reallocation
Partner organization: GIZ
Duration: 01.08.2020 – 31.07.2022
An additional credit currently being under preparation will be used to establish a grants scheme to provide municipalities with smaller grants for immediate support to boost economic activities in the regions to contribute to overcoming the negative effects of the corona crisis.
Assistance to MoH
Partner Organization: RA Ministry of Health
Duration: 18.03.2020 – 31.12.2020
Project description: To assist the Government of Armenia in its fight against COVID-19, the SDC has contributed to support the RA Ministry of Health’s measures for the prevention and treatment of the epidemic. Medical equipment has been purchased by the Ministry in the frames of this project. The equipment will be used by the medical staff who are fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines.
Regional Arts and Culture program Response
Virtual Viewing Room Arts & Culture small project
Partner organization: HAYP/ IN SITU
Duration: 01.05.2020 - 30.06.2020
Activities: The project is to create a new platform which will inspire and encourage artists to make art from home, learn new digital tools, while also creating a unique archive of this moment and our time.
The Quarantine Ensemble Arts & Culture small action,
Partner organization: NGO Music of Armenia Cultural
Duration: 13.04.2020 – 14.09.2020
Project description: The Quarantine Ensemble offers psychological support to those musicians on self-isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19 and advocates collaboration between artists in a way of promoting innovation and cross-disciplinary cooperation. It will ultimately give birth to new and unconventional partnerships and long lasting friendships.
The response from the Embassy of Switzerland in Armenia counts the following projects:
Support vulnerable families in Gyumri by providing possibility to access distance education during COVID-19 pandemic
Partner organization: KASA Humanitarian Foundation
Duration: 08.05.2020 – 08.06.2020
Project description: Amid the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Armenia, like many countries, switched to distance learning. Teachers and schools have been working around the clock to find solutions for remote learning. Unfortunately, due to the lack of equipment, children from vulnerable families were not always able to connect to online classrooms, thus remaining outside the learning process.
To counter this emergency and ensure the continuity of education for 30 school-age children from disadvantaged Gyumri families, the Embassy joined forces with KASA humanitarian foundation, providing electronic hardware to 16 families in need.
South Caucasus: Politics in Times of Crisis
Partner organization: Caucasus Institute
Duration: 03.06.2020 – 30.09.2020
Project description: The Embassy has provided assistance with the purpose of setting up a distance e-learning program for the Armenian youth about the politics in South Caucasus in times of the pandemic. The up-to-date format and untapped topic is to attract youth, building their capacity for policy analysis.
Switzerland’s planned and already conducted overall support for Armenia in response to the COVID-19 crisis amounts per mid-June 2020 to approximately CHF 1.0 Mio.