Social protection plays a vital role in strengthening the resilience of children, families and communities, achieving greater equity, and supporting national human and economic development. Targeted interventions can reduce the impact of poverty on children and improve their chances in life.
Placing children at the heart of poverty reduction is one of the best ways to break that poverty cycle and create a level playing field for every child, girls and boys alike. Child poverty reduction should be at the heart of the national development, strategies and policies of the Republic of Armenia, particularly in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and the notion of “leaving no one behind”.
UNICEF believes that investing in social protection and children and adolescents makes sense from both an economic and a human development perspective. The demonstrated impacts of social protection on children’s development last long beyond childhood, increasing adult productivity, decreasing the burden of human development losses and contributing to breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty.
UNICEF Armenia has been successful in supporting generation of child poverty data (monetary and multi-dimensional) together with its partner, to be able to identify those poorest and furthest left behind, and inform policy-making.
Moreover, UNICEF Armenia remains a key player in the advancement of integrated social services reforms in the country, building the capacity of case managers and social workers, assisting in the establishment of community-based services and overall development of the social protection legal and policy frameworks for the most vulnerable families and children. UNICEF Armenia has supported development of cooperation modalities between social service providers to enable them to respond to the complex needs of the most vulnerable families and children, as well as further work on the development of the cooperation modalities as common practice. In this regard, social protection reforms are viewed holistically in the context of child care and inclusive education reforms. Finally, social protection systems are key in responding to economic shocks and emergencies, especially at the local level, thus preventing families from falling further into poverty.
UNICEF Armenia has a unique role to play in ensuring that social protection programmes are responsive to children’s rights and needs and contribute to the reduction of vulnerabilities of children to poverty and deprivation. The programme components include: