On 12 March, the new EU-funded Local Empowerment of Actors for Development (LEAD) Programme was launched in Armenia. The action will be implemented in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
The LEAD Programme aims to promote inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development resulting in improved quality of life in the three northern regions of Armenia. The action is closely aligned with the priorities of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which entered into force on 1 March 2021.
“Regional development with a special emphasis on the development of disadvantaged areas and territorial cooperation is among the priorities of CEPA,” said Andrea Wiktorin, Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia.
The €14.6 million four-year LEAD programme is made up of three projects. The LEAD4Shirak and LEAD4Lori and Tavush regions projects will focus on adaptation and implementation of the EU LEADER methodology, which supports community-driven local/rural development initiatives carried out through partnerships between local authorities, private sector and civil society.
The EU for Increasing Migrants’ Potential to Act for Development of Armenia (EU4IMPACT) project will empower Armenian labour migrants, returnees and their family members, by mobilising remittances and investing in local development and job creation across Armenia.
The projects aim to create more than 250 jobs, support 160 rural businesses and fund 150 migrant businesses, as well as training at least 500 beneficiaries on business management and operations. Overall, around 9,000 people will benefit from the programme’s activities.
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