UNICEF to support families of 3,055 children with disabilities with one-time cash plus assistance within COVID-19 response
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Armenia and UNICEF sign a collaboration agreement to support children with disabilities, recipients of state family benefit
YEREVAN, August 31, 2020 – UNICEF will provide a one-time cash plus assistance to 3,055 hildren with disabilities whose families are enrolled in the state family benefit programme. The amount of the assistance will be 26,500 Armenian drams per child and will reach all children 0-18 years of age across all marzes of the country who are registered in the family benefit system.
“Children with disabilities, especially living in the poorest families, are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They need additional support measures to cope with the crisis. Without coordinated action to mitigate the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of children already living on the edge of hardship will fall further into poverty,” noted Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Armenia.
The total amount of the provided support will be 80,957,500 AMD and has been earmarked together with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, based on the range of previous social benefit packages and the minimal consumer basket for essential goods and services. The assistance will be disbursed in the next two months through the national social protection system in liaison with the state treasury together with monthly family benefits. Partners will monitor the provided support in the form of random checks.
“As thousands of parents struggle to maintain their livelihoods and income, the Government of Armenia has worked to scale up social protection measures that reach the most vulnerable,” said Mrs. Zaruhi Batoyan, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia. “With the support of UNICEF, we hope not only to support the most vulnerable children with disabilities in Armenia but also map health and psychosocial support services across the country and develop a unified approach to be able to structure and expand these services in the future.”
Besides cash assistance, UNICEF and MOLSA have jointly developed informational materials on COVID-19, which will be distributed to the parents of 3,055 children with the support of HayPost. These informational materials will serve as a vital resource to raise awareness among parents about various aspects of how to best care for their children during the pandemic, from proper nutrition to play, rest and precautionary measures. In addition to the cash plus assistance, UNICEF stands ready to support MOLSA to develop social services on mental health and psycho-social support, including for families of children with disability.
The provision of cash plus assistance has been made possible in the framework of joint UN projects - “COVID-19 and Resilience in Armenia: Mitigating the Socio-Economic Impact on Vulnerable People and Communities,” funded by the Multi-partner Trust Fund, and “Enhancing Human Security in Communities of Armenia” project, funded by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security.
UNICEF works to ensure that every child in Armenia is cherished, nurtured and cared for. Building on more than 70 years of global experience and 25 years of achieving results for children in Armenia, UNICEF is committed to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children living in poverty and isolation. From the maternity ward to the end of high school, UNICEF teams up with partners so that all children and families in Armenia benefit from improved policies, services and facilities across the country.
UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.