VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 105

									             INTERIM POVERTY REDUCTION
                   STRATEGY PAPER

                        ARMENIA SOCIAL TRENDS “01

• Main Social Monitoring Indicators by Marzes of Armenia
• The Regional M&A Units’ staffs present trends in Social Situation in Marzes of Armenia for
• Comparative Analysis of Social Situation in Marzes of Armenia based on the Results of Special
• Monitoring and Analysis Indicators of Social Sector: Tables


  UNDP Project Co-ordinator UNDP / Government “Creation of a Social Monitoring and Analysis
System” ARM / 01/ 002 Project

   Dear Readers,

    The Bulletin is a product of a joint effort by the staff of the central and regional units of Social
Monitoring and Analysis (hereinafter, M&A) under the “Creation of a Social Monitoring and Analysis
System” joint UNDP and Government of Armenia project. The collection and processing of informa-
tion, the preparation of analyses, the comparative analyses, and syntheses have enjoyed the precious
contribution of all the staff of the General Department of Macroeconomic Policy of the Ministry of
Finance and Economy of the Republic of Armenia, leaded by the head of the Department, a candidate
of economics Mr. Sisak Sargsyan.
    This issue of the “Armenia Social Trends” bulletin is based on an initial set of indicators to be
periodically monitored from now on, which was elaborated jointly by experts of the Government and
its relevant ministries, national statisticians, and independent experts. The proposed indicators have
been selected on the basis of a series of preconditions and principles.
    First of all, the “Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper” approved by the Government in March
of 2001 as well as some of its pre-marked indicators and main approaches of their monitoring have
served as the cornerstone for development of the set of indicators.
    Second, the proposed indicators were selected based on the necessity and needs of the first stage of
drafting the “Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper” (hereinafter, the PRSP), which includes the analysis
of social status and benchmark data. Thus, they are predominantly analytical indicators, the monitor-
ing of which is mandatory in order to carry out a social policy, population welfare, and regional social
and economic situation analyses.
    Third, the social monitoring system has incorporated not only merely social, but also macroeco-
nomic and economic indicators explaining the causes of declining prosperity and poverty in the pub-
    Fourth, the selection of the indicators took into account the absence of last census data and the
imperfect or missing administrative statistics and information systems in the regions. Therefore, the
proposed indicators are the ones that are currently available regionally, which refrain from using a
regional population data.1

    Based on the aforementioned, the following are the main groups of analytical indicators developed
in the context of the PRSP development process:
    1. Macroeconomic indicators on monitoring and analysis of social policy; (3-5 pages).
    2. Macroeconomic indicators on monitoring and analysis of population welfare; (5-8 pages).
    3. Indicators on monitoring and analysis of social situation in the marzes (8-10 pages).
    The central and regional M&A units form integral part of the social monitoring and analysis sys-
tem; they collect, summarize, and study indicators describing the social situation and social trends of
the country and its regions (11-47 pages).
    This information is enriched with the results of focus/targeted observations periodically carried
out by M&A units’ staffs, as well as specific surveys on poverty and the poor in the regions (pages
47 to 55).
    Furthermore, the analysis prepared by the M&A units will serve as a basis for developing the mac-
roeconomic policy aimed at reducing poverty, which has adequate social and economic development
of the regions as a priority.
   Emphasizing the role of territorial administration and local government in drafting and implement-
ing a poverty reduction strategy, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Andranik Mar-
garyan and the Minister of Finance and Economy Mr. Vardan Khachatryan specifically highlighted
the importance of the existing national system of social monitoring and analysis in a conference
hosted by the Prime Minister on December 17 of 2001.
   Perceiving the urgency of the plight of the regions, this issue predominantly focuses on social
trends of Armenia’s marzes / regions, which have been studied by the regional M&A units concerning
the period from 1996 to 2000. The trends of social indicators for all of Armenia’s regions, except for
Yerevan, have been described in tables attached to the Newsletter. The data does not necessarily con-
form to data quoted by other official sources. Nevertheless, the information collected and aggregated
by the regional M&A units is valued as that directly obtained from the regions, which is certainly
worthy of consideration by the readers. In addition to analyses of social indicators based on adminis-
trative data, the Newsletter presents the results of surveys (conducted by UNDP consultants) on the
vulnerability of the population, as well as on the most vulnerable / poorest families in the regions.
   Taking into account the need to ensure broad public participation in the PRSP drafting process,
the “Armenia Social Trends” information-analytical bulletin is designated for various sectors of civil
society, including those without relevant education. Therefore, it has been considered reasonable
to present some interpretation on the selected indicators, especially macroeconomic ones, and also
explanation of interconnection between the monitored indicators and poverty reduction or social de-
velopment. Concurrently, one should note that for the same reason, a complicated academic manner
of presentation has been replaced with simple analytical texts that would be easier for the public to
   Thus, the main purpose of the pioneer issue “Armenia Social Trends” Newsletter is:

   To provide information and brief analyses to government agencies, public servants, national ex-
perts, non-governmental organizations, interested citizens, and international development partners
regarding macroeconomic, economic and social indicators important in terms of drafting the PRSP,
as well as the trends of such indicators, regional particularities, analyses, and macroeconomic per-

    1 There are some realistic expert assessments on the population figure of the country, which however, do not at all
exist for the single regions.


   Tigran Kostanyan
   Member of Monitoring and Analysis Working Group of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of
the Republic of Armenia, (Central M&A Unit), tel. 595-329

   Recent years’ discussions on the poverty problem lead to the conclusion that economic growth and
macroeconomic stability, which in turn are needed to attain rapid and sustainable growth, are impor-
tant pre-conditions to reduce poverty2.
   The level of economic growth also depends on fundamental structural measures such as privatiza-
tion, judiciary reforms, public administration reforms, and the like. These measures directly promote
distribution relations, which have been proven to have a more favorable impact on poverty than mere
economic growth without changes in distribution relations.
   Thus, one could assert that the problem of poverty starts out in the area of economic relations.
In this regards, it is true that social monitoring should also start out with a description of the macr-
oeconomic situation, which is normally provided using a certain set of indicators. Macroeconomic
indicators mostly point out the roots of poverty as opposed to social indicators, which point out the
consequences of poverty.
   A monitoring of macroeconomic indicators allows one to analyze the weaknesses of the economic
policy in terms of reducing poverty, and to recommend relevant changes to remove them.

   Notwithstanding that currently, the role of income distribution and redistribution is increasing3,
the main criteria for a recurrent poverty assessment are economic growth and the level of income in
an economy. The selection of macroeconomic indicators for social monitoring was implemented in
three main areas:
   1. Indicators of the level of income in the economy:
   GNDI /Gross national disposable income;
   GNP /Gross national product; and
   GDP /Gross domestic product.
   These indicators are normally measured on a per capita basis to express the development/poverty
status in a country.
   2. Indicators of economic potential:
   State budget deficit
   The indicators in this group are normally measures in relation to GDP to express the economic
strength status of a country.
   3. Indicators of the social orientation of an economic policy:

   State budget and state expenditure State social fund
   The main indicator of income in the economy is the gross domestic product. GDP is the sum of
market prices of all finished goods and services created in the economy of a country during a year.
Therefore, one could assume that the higher the GDP, the higher the average income in the economy,
and the lower the level of poverty. However, this conclusion could be right in theory only if the fol-
lowing arguments could be set aside:

   1. Such an approach overlooks the impact of distribution and redistribution. An increased level of
average income in an economy does not have to be associated with an improved poverty situation,
because economic growth is possible even if income is polarized.
   2. Such an increase in GDP would mean an increase partially due to price factors. Often, the main
cause of growth may be inflation of prices, including consumer prices, which cannot be deemed good
from the standpoint of reducing poverty.

   The second argument has required that GDP real growth be also listed as a macroeconomic indi-
cator of poverty. GDP real growth shows the percentage point increase in GDP due to an increased
quantitative factor.
   For the sake of attaining international compatibility of development (poverty) levels of different
economies, the per capita gross national product (GNP) expressed in USD is broadly used globally as
an indicator of poverty. For example, by World Bank standards, a low income country is one in which
per capita GNP is lower than 785 USD.
   However, both GDP and GNP as indicators have a shortcoming: income created outside of the
economy of Armenia and transferred to residents of Armenia is not included in either GDP or GNP,
and income created in Armenia and transferred abroad is not deducted of either GDP or GNP (these
are the so-called “factoral” income and transfers). In this sense, one of the best indicators in an econ-
omy is gross national disposable income (GNDI), which does take into account the aforementioned
income and transfers.
   There is perhaps no need to mention that improved income performance is the main factor directly
fostering poverty reduction.
   From the standpoint of poverty reduction, indicators describing the potential of an economy to
generate income are of much interest. An example of such indicators is the investment/GDP ratio.
The ratio of investment to GDP shows the portion of income used to procure investment goods. The
social significance of this indicator is that investment promotes new job opportunities. Moreover, new
jobs usually secure a higher than minimum consumer basket wage for the employed. Therefore, one
could claim that increased investment would somewhat alleviate income polarization and rehabilitate
the social atmosphere.
   The positive impact of increased investment in housing construction on improving the standard of
living is obvious.
   The next indicator in this group is the exports/imports ratio, which shows the extent to which
exports exceed or fall behind imports. This indicator indirectly reflects the consumer prices/average
wage ratio. In an open market, imports being higher than exports means that domestic consumer
prices are closer to international prices than the level of average wages. In other words, increased
exports predetermine an increase in average wages in the domestic market, while increased imports
predetermine an increase in consumer prices. Obviously, monitoring this indicator is another indirect
way of defining the standard of living or poverty.
   Finally, the state budget deficit/GDP ratio is a summary indicator for this group, because it ef-
fectively shows the potential of the state to absorb investment. As opposed to all the other aforemen-
tioned indicators, the target for this ratio should be a “moderate minimum”, because the availability
of either a budget deficit or a budget surplus does not testify a high or low standard of economic
prosperity. According to the Republic of Armenia “Law on the Budgetary System of the Republic of
Armenia”, the maximum limit on the state budget deficit is 10 percent of the current year GDP.

   Figure 1. Trends of Main Macroeconomic Indicators, 1996-2000

    Ultimately, the last group of macroeconomic indicators for social policy monitoring and analysis
comprises those defining the potential and the role of the state in relation to the state budget, i.e., in
relation to redistribution of income.
    “Socialization” of the economic policy of the state is best testified by the share of transfers in state
budget expenditure. The worse the social plight of the population, the larger the share of transfers in
the state budget. Meanwhile, cutting transfers while the level of poverty is not reduced would mean a
further deterioration of the standard of living.
    From the viewpoint of reducing poverty, state expenditure on healthcare, education, and science
is extremely important.
    In studying the structure of the budget, public debt monitoring is crucial; such monitoring should
be the basis for defining and setting a target of public debt that would not impede the implementation
of social programs.
    The ratio of the revenue of the state fund for social insurance to its expenditure shows the self-
sustainability capacity of the fund, i.e. its ability to perform its functions without funding from the
state budget.

   Figure 2. Some Trends in relation to GDP, 1996-2000

   Figure 3. Structure Trends of Budget Expenditure of Armenia, 1996-2000

1 Based on IMF figures.
2 It should be noted that both international and national academicians and experts correctly insist that macroeconomic
  stability and economic growth are necessary but not sufficient conditions to reduce poverty in the country. See also
  Sisak Sargsyan and Hovhannes Azizyan, “Reduction of inequalities is the cornerstone of economic policy”, Hayatsk
  Tntesoutian (Economic Review) Newsletter, 10-th issue, October of 2001. Tigran Khachatryan, “Resolution of the
  issue of social polarization is our target”, Hayatsk Tntesoutian (Economic Review) Newsletter, 10-th issue, October
  of 2001.
3 The level of polarization in income distribution is defined by the Gene coefficient, which one does not always have
  sufficient information to measure. For Armenia, this coefficient was measured for 1996 and 1998/1999 on the basis of
  the results of broad household surveys. This indicator is usually not measured frequently, that is why it has not been
  listed as a semiannual monitoring indicator.


  Shoghik Hovhannissyan
  Head of Monitoring and Analysis Working Group of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of the
Republic of Armenia, (Central M&A Unit), tel: 595-334

   Lusine Avalyan
   Member of Monitoring and Analysis Working Group of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of
the Republic of Armenia, (Central M&A Unit), tel: 595-334

   This group of social monitoring indicators was selected on the basis of two important factors:
a) the current capacity of the national and administrative statistics and data accessibility, and b) the
possibility of on-line processing and analysis of periodic data. Moreover, the table above shows that
these are all averages, which ultimately present the average welfare of the population and households
of the country in terms of economic prosperity (income, including wages, savings, and inflation),
social protection (family allowances and unemployment benefits, pensions), and human development
(drinking water and sewage system accessibility).
   Indeed, the table does not include indicators reflecting the level of population and household pov-
erty, which are generated through thorough and weighty surveys. The latter are special sampling
surveys of either family budgets (so called dairy of income and expenditure) or integrated household
living standards measurement surveys (LSMS), which are normally carried out once every 2-4 years
and cover 3,000-5,000 monitoring units.

   In Armenia, similar surveys were carried out by the National Statistical Service (NSS) first in No-
vember - December of 1996, and then in July 1998-June 1999, covering 5,000 and 3,600 households,
respectively1. The results of these surveys served as a basis to calculate the following internationally
accepted indicators of poverty for the population of the country:
• Level of poverty as per the population and the number of households, which shows what percent-

  age of the population or households is below the minimum level of consumption calculated at a
  2,100 kcal/day consumer basket;
• Depth of poverty, which characterizes how deep the poor below the poverty line are;
• Severity of poverty, which shows the number of poor concentrated in the lowest level of poverty;
• The Gini coefficient: how inequitably or unfairly revenues are distributed amongst all the mem-
  bers of the population; the closer the coefficient is to 1, the higher the polarization in society.
  Table 1 shows the dynamics of the listed indicators of poverty over the surveyed period.

  Table 1. Changes in Poverty Indicators in 1996 and 1998/1999

   Another important outcome of these surveys has been the exploration of poverty risk groups in the
public, which are: a) families with many children, b) the unemployed, c) pensioners. For example,
families with many children are extremely endangered in terms of poverty2. The level of poverty,
especially extreme poverty, in households with children sharply increases as the number of underage
children increases (see Figure 1).

  Figure 1. Household poverty and the number of underage children
  Drawing from the 1998/1999 survey

   Unfortunately, the change in the regional poverty situation can be assessed only in terms of an
“urban - rural” aspects, which is due to the fact that the sampling in the 1998/1999 survey was not
sufficient to secure a good data representation of the regional level (not to mention smaller territorial
units). Thus, the main poverty indicators obtained through the 1996 survey remain one of their kind
as far as the regions are concerned (see Table 2)

   Table 2. Main features of poverty in the regions of Armenia as of 1996
   (percent of total population)

  Thus, based on the aforementioned determinants of poverty, the following have been selected as
semiannual social monitoring and analysis indicators:

   1. regarding economic prosperity of the public:
   • Private consumption
   • Private savings
   • Average wage
   • Consumer and foodstuff price index

   2. regarding social protection of the public:
   • Minimum consumer basket
   • Average pension
   • Average family allowance
   • Average unemployment benefit

   3. regarding the level of human development:
   • Accessibility of drinking water
   • Access to sewage

   The private consumption indicator is the consumption of finished goods and services by house-
holds. From the viewpoint of poverty, “private consumption/GDP” is most applicable, since it shows
what part of the gross domestic product directs to consumption. The higher this ratio, the more the
dependence of a country on foreign countries, and the more sensitive the national economy to foreign

   Figure 2. Trends of the private consumption/GDP indicator, 1997-2000

   Private savings includes the cash that households and businesses build up for investment use. In
terms of poverty, the ratio of private savings to gross domestic disposable income (GDDI) is rather
expressive, as it shows what part of GDDI is private savings. The poorer the public, the lower this
ratio. The low level of private savings in GDDI is a warning that the potential of the private sector,
including households, is insufficient to overcome poverty. In the period from 1997 to 1999, private
savings were reported negative, which has surely affected the poverty indicators of the public.

   Figure 3. Trends of the private savings / GDDI indicator, 1997-2000

   The Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows the price change in goods and services included in the con-
sumer basket during the reported period in relation to the base period prices. The CPI is considered, in
a different sense, to be an inflationary tax, which is a regression tax that directly affects those with low
income if such income is not indexed. On the other hand, though, it fosters economic growth, which
in case of fair distribution would reduce poverty. In this area, short-term and long-term plans should
be combined, and a reasonable solution in terms of reducing poverty should be found.
   The poor part of the population is rather sensitive to changes in the foodstuff price index, which
directly affect their purchasing parity. Surveys have shown that the reason for this is that the poorer
a household, the higher the share of foodstuffs in its consumer basket. For example, foodstuffs are
about 60% of the current expense of an average statistical household. For the poorest, this percentage

reaches 73%, while the richest enjoy a two and a half-fold less figure (31%). (See Figure 4.)

  Figure 4. Consumer and Foodstuff Price Indices, 1996-2000

   The group of indicators showing social protection of the public, especially the poor ones, has been
presented in a very plain manner: wages, allowances, pensions, which are all brought in statistical
averages. The Minimum consumer basket indicator needs some clarification: it includes all the vital
goods and services consumed by households that are needed for a normal life.
   In the Republic of Armenia, this indicator is calculated using the food basket value and a ratio of
1.63. The NSS applies two different consumer baskets. One of them includes the minimum amount
of food actually consumed, based on the results of the 1996 household survey (equal to 2,100 kcal
per day3). The other one (2,412 kcal/day) has been estimated by experts of the Ministry of Health of
Armenia as the minimum rational basket, which in terms of its structure, though, is relatively well-
   Figure 5 shows a comparison of household income with minimum needs.

  Figure 5. Average household income and the minimum consumer basket

    The last group of macroeconomic indicators on monitor and analysis of population welfare com-
prises important indicators of human development such as accessibility of drinking water and access
to the sewage system. Drinking water accessibility shows the ratio of households with access to a cen-
tralized water supply system to the total number of households. Access to the sewage system shows
the ratio of households with access to the sewage system to the total number of households. The
dynamics of these indicators are presented in the table preceding this text. One should note that these
indicators define the theoretic, rather than actual access of the public to the vital utilities in question.
    In particular, a “Poverty of Vulnerable Groups in Armenia” survey conducted in 1999 has shown
that the population of the country actually gets drinking water supplied for an average of 7-8 hours
per day, 2-4 hours in some communities, and even less in some districts and areas4.


1 See “Armenia: Social Snapshot and Poverty”, NSS, Yerevan, 1998 and 2001.
2 Based on this, the regional staff of the social monitoring and analysis system carried out a survey of families with
  many underage children received allowances during September and October of 2001, the results of which are pre-
  sented in this Bulletin. See R. Yeganyan and N. Shahnazaryan, “ Survey of the opinions of families with three and
  more children, included in the family allowances system”, p. 47.
3 It should be noted that about 60 percent of the minimum consumer basket comprises bread produce, and therefore,
  experts consider it a misbalance in terms of proportions of ingredients vital for health.
4 The water problem receives adequate attention in the analyses submitted by the staff of regional M&A units, as well
  as in the reports of special surveys conducted regionally (see footnote 2).


   Ministry of Finance and Economy of the Republic of Armenia
   Central Unit of Social Monitoring and Analysis

   The territory of Armenia was administratively divided into regions on the basis of the Republic
of Armenia “Law on the Administrative Division of the Territory of the Republic of Armenia” dated
December 4, 1995. According to this Law, the 37 municipalities and 4 cities (Yerevan, Gyumri, Va-
nadzor, and Dilijan) of the country were reintegrated into 11 regions: Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir,
Gegharkounik, Kotayk, Lori, Shirak, Syunik, Vayots Dzor, Tavush, and Yerevan (the latter is a city
with the status of a region).
   Notwithstanding the small territory of the country, the regions have some, and for certain indica-
tors tangible, differences in terms of their social, demographic, and economic potential, structure of
economy, social priorities, and the like.
   Naturally, the territorial differentiation affects the poverty picture and social trends of the regions,
as well.
   Taking into account the importance of exploring and studying territorial development particulari-
ties and incorporating them in the fully-fledged PRSP, much attention was given to the selection of
social indicators of poverty for the regions when establishing the system of social monitoring and
analysis. At the current stage of monitoring, the system is based on a single fundamental concept:
the proposed indicators must either exist or be calculable for separate regions. It is quite well-known
that the current situation of statistics does not yet secure the collection or synthesis of regionally
disaggregated social indicators, namely those on poverty. Meanwhile, the system of administrative
registries of information and data has not yet developed at the level of region governor’s offices
   Based on this, the following four categories of closest poverty-related indicators have been ear-
marked for social monitoring of the regions of Armenia:
   • Indicators characterizing the level of education of the public;
   • Indicators characterizing the health status of the public;
   • Indicators characterizing the level of economic activity; and
   • Indicators describing the level of human security.
   The analyses obtained from regional social monitoring and analysis units prove the importance
and appropriateness of the selected indicators (the said analyses were prepared on the basis of the
above-mentioned list of indicators). Social situation trends obtained from the regions were synthe-
sized in two ways. Firstly, they were aggregated for the country as a whole and presented in final
form above this text. And secondly, they were combined and compared for the 11 marzes, including
Yerevan, marking the regions in which the worst (and least negative) trends of the aforementioned
social indicators of poverty were reported.

              Trends for 1996-2000 and 1999-2000

   The Regional M&A Units’ staffs present trends in Social Situation in Marzes of Armenia
for 1996-2000

  Irina Grigoryan
  Specialist of the Lori Regional Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit, tel.: (0-51) 2-36-62

  Total area ……………..3740 square km
  Population ....................393.4 thousand people
  Of which urban …....263.8 thousand people
  Number of communities......113
  Of which urban...…....8

   Lori Marz is situated in the northern part of Armenia and has approximately 110 km border with
Georgia. It is the second largest in Armenia by territory and population. Almost 67% of inhabitants
are centered in urban settlement. The ethnic composition is almost homogenous: 97% are Armenians,
1,5% - Russian, 1% - Greeks, and 0,5% - other nationalities. The working age population comprises
59.9 %1 : The employment (self employment in agricultural households of the Marz is not accounted
for) and the average salary dynamics for 1998-20002 displays that the employment rate has decreased
by 1.2 times while the average salary has increased by 6430 Dram.

  Vulnerable Groups of Population

   The specifics describing population at large and that of the earthquake zone are also true for the
   • Low level of living
   • Unemployment
   • Social tension

   The fact that majority of the population of the Marz are urban dwellers, brings forward unemploy-
ment as a special issue. The level of unemployment for the year 2000 was equal to 17%. In the fol-
lowing year the level of unemployment decreased to 21282 people with following breakdown:
   • Urban dwellers -85.0 %
   • Women -76.1 %
  •    People with secondary education -57.5 %
  •    Those having higher education -9.5 %
  •    30–50 years old -45.2 %

  993 persons have been provided by jobs through the efforts of the Employment and Job Creation
Regional Centers. The below chart reflects the unemployment dynamics for 1996-2000:

  There are 60851 pensioners registered in the Marz (15.5% of population), of which:
  • disabled -12319
  • disabled since childhood -2044
  • parentless children -4040
  (of whom 123 - orphans)

   From point of view of social protection, the most vulnerable group of population in the demo-
graphic structure is currently the elderly persons. Their number is considerably high: every 5th inhab-
itant of the region is an elderly person and is in need of state care.
   The following are operating in the regional center under the auspices of the Ministry of Social
Protection of the RoA:
   • Old people’s home for 60 elderly people (30 of them are being taken care at their own
   • Orphanage for 100 children.

   There are refugees registered in the Marz. Their total number is 22372 persons, of which:
   • Actually residing in the Marz 10250 person
   • Are of working age 46.2 %
   • Are in need of housing 231 families
   • Have acquired Armenian citizenship 1994 person (729 - in 1999)

   As of April 2000, there were 30439 families (29.5% of the total number of families in the Marz) re-
ceiving family allowances. Compared to the 1999, their number has decreased by 723 (see the graph).
The decrease is directly related to the change of rating for this or that social group within the family
allowance system, or other changes in the legal field. For example, in January 2000 the rating for the
social group of unemployed has been lowered from 27 to 22 . This resulted in considerable decrease
of number of beneficiary families.


  171 general educational facilities are currently operating in the Lori Marz (for 54515 students), of
  • Secondary schools 131
  • 8-year schools 33
  • colleges 2 total: 53650 students
  • boarding schools 3 schools, 658 students
  • vocational training schools 2 schools, 207 students

  • secondary professional schools: 8 for 2867 students
  • 2 state institutes with 2285 students, of which 781 are in the state paid sector, 1504 - in paid
    sector. There are 8 private institutions.

   Number of teachers working in the general secondary schools of the Marz in 5161, of which 4567
are women. 93% of teachers have higher education. 11417 children of school age have spent their
summer holidays in the 95 camps organized in Lori Marz during the summer holidays of the year

   In the year 2000, as compared with the previous year, the number of students in the marz has de-
creased by 4.2%, the number of first graders - for 13.8%. Drop out numbers of 124 students (or 2.6%)
from grade 10 has been registered as well. Teacher - student ratio is 10.8, however, there is urgent
need for educators in the rural schools while 300 teachers are receiving diplomas from the Vanadzor
Teachers Institute annually (only 5-10% of them is able to find employment in Vanadzor mostly, but
do not work by their profession). Out of the 2000 students who graduate from the 8 secondary profes-
sional schools 12.5% is able to find employment.
   Only some of the pre-school facilities do work utilizing only 15-20% of their capacity. The prob-
lem is more severe in rural communities, where this system practically is not operating at all. Only
1200 (24%) of the 5000 first graders enter school after attending a kindergarten. This number reflects
mostly urban population.
   To provide active support to the students and staff of education system, the “Loru Dprots” (School

of Lori) foundation was created in the region.
   Through financing of the World Bank, School Reform Program is being carried out. 63 out of the
167 schools of the Marz are included in this program. The 34 projects suggested by them have been
considered successful.

  Health Care

  The table below reflects the dynamic shifts in the medical institutions and the medical staff of the
Marz for the period of 1996-2000.

   Dynamics of diseases related to social conditions and poverty for the period of 1996-2000 is as

   During the year 2000 there have been registered in the Marz:
   • new births -3286 babies
   • mortality -2608 people
   • mortality for 0-1 year old babies -52 cases
   • natural growth -678

   Birth and Mortality in the Marz in 1996-2000

    Analysis of the birth rate indicator brings us to the conclusion that it drops. Compared with 1999,
in the year 2000 there were registered 348 births less than the previous year, while there were 92 more
    The number of hospitals or policlinics still operating in temporary “domiks” or other buildings
is high. To improve primary health care for rural population in Odzun, Chochkan and Shnogh com-
munities of the Tumanyan subregion medical clinics have been reconstructed. The Vardablur clinic
reconstruction is still ongoing.
    The In-patient hospitals of health centers in Tumanyan, Margahovit, Shamlugh, Lernapat, Vahagni
and Shirakamut are transformed into outpatient wards. The 4 health centers of the Marz operate to the
10-15% of their capacity.
    The medical clinics of Giulagarak and Mets Airum have been repaired through assistance of the

   Environmental Protection

    Environmental Protection remains one of main issues of the Marz. The water resources include:
    • 27 rivers and tributaries
    • 23 lakes and reservoirs
    • 400 springs
    The Northern Regional State Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the RoA
is responsible for supervision protection of the environment, water resources, atmosphere, various
refinement/purificatin stations and nature preservation. The Chemical laboratories in Vanadzor and
Alaverdi carry out research, observations and monitoring of atmosphere and surface water quality.
    The region is rich in forests. Forests cover 98700 hectare: this comprises 30% of the total area of
the Marz.
    During the period of 1992-2000 almost one thirds of total forest area has been illegally cut. In
some places forests have been annihilated.

  Following are the main problems in the area of nature preservation:
  • Activation of surface flow of water on slopes close to inhabited sites, erosion, land slide and
  • Unwanted shifts in fauna and flora, danger of extinction of some previous species;
  • The problem of removal of dirty waters of enterprises;
  • Poor state of sewage and water drainage systems.

  Human Rights Protection

   During the year 2000, the Department of Internal Affairs of Lori Marz and other subordinate de-
partments have recorded 1060 crimes. Compared to the previous year, their number has increased by
178, or by 20.2%. The following chart presents the dynamics of crime for the period of 1996-2000:

   Extraordinary Events and their Aftermath

   1. Results of the Draught

   The 2000 draught was unprecedented in Lori Marz by its duration, intensity, high temperature and
damage. 12320 hectares of wheat were planted that year, of which 8500 – winter wheat and 3820
– summer.
   After summarizing results of harvesting it becames clear that the average harvest per hectare for
winter wheat has been 7.0 metric centner, or, that instead of anticipated 18682.8 only 5700 tons were
harvested. The deficiency was equal to 68%. As for the barley, it was for 70% less then anticipated,
which means that only 5.0 metric centner was harvested in average.
   Because of the draught 25% of ploughed wheat has never been mown. Potato harvest shortage
made up to 66.3%. This has lead to 1975 tons of wheat, 1500 summer barley seeds and 27430 tons of
potato seedling deficits.
   The state of animal cattle breeding has deteriorated as well. Every year 120000 tons of grass was
being stored, approximately 10000 tons of hey, 5000-6000 tons of silos, grain feed. This year only
24000 tons of grass was stored, that makes up for only 20% of the total need. 4000 ton less hey was
produces (only 40%) and 6000 tons less of silos was stores. No grain feeds were stored.
   The foot-and-mouth disease poised another problem for cattle breeding.
   2. Re-operating the Vanadzor Chemical Complex

   Staring the operations of the Vanadzor chemical plant by the “Prometheus” Closed SC of An-
drvaftgazshin (Trans Caucasus Gas and Oil Construction) will considerably improve the employ-
ment situation in Vanadzor and related areas as will create new job places. According to approximate
calculations, 2500-4500 persons will be provided by jobs. If an average of 50 thousand dram salary
will be provided to staff, social tension will considerably decrease, this will further create basis for
developing paid services, catering and will promote creation of more employment.


1 Data on population numbers, working age persons and employment are obtained from regional Statistical Services and
  reflect data available before the census of 2001
2 Data in the table are taken from reports of organizations supervised by the Regional Statistical Agency of the Marz


   Andranik Gevorgyan
   pecialist of the Shirak Regional Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
   Tel.: (0-41) 3-18-09

   Economic Decline After the 1988 Earthquake

   Shirak Marz was traditionally the second industrial and agricultural center of the Republicof Ar-
menia. After the earthquake in 1988 it lost majority of its economic capacity, housing area, health,
educational and other essential life sustenance centers, and was transformed into Disaster Area. The
aftermath of the earthquake has not yet been overcome. Many industrial plants have stopped opera-
tions, especially after privatization. Out of 76 enterprises of the Marz 51 are privatized, 7 are in the
process of liquidation. 31 enterprises have produced nothing during the year 2001. Majority of oper-
ating enterprises are utilising only 5-10% of their capacity.

   Social Situation

   The current social situation in the Marz is at best reflected in the number of vulnerable families in
the area. Analysis reveal that during 1999-2001 the number of families receiving Family Allowances
has decreased by 1.4 times, thus totalling to 32% of total number of families in the Marz.

The figures below reflect tensions in the social sphere2.

   Creation of Job Places as a Prerequisite for Development

   Creation of job opportunities maybe a guarantee for social and economic development of the
Marz. That is currently considered a priority in the area.
   Below is the number of newly created job places with a breakdown of occupational fields is giv-
   Number of Newly Created Job Places (during 2001) according to
   Spheres of Occupation in the Shirak Marz of the RA

   Non-operating factories are being re-opened, such as the “Apaki” (Glass)enterprize with 172 work
places(Giumri), “Manvatskayin Fabrika”(Textile Factory) of Giumri with 160 job places, the “Kara-
rvest” (Sewing) in Giumri for 140 and the Artik and Giumri Carpet Weeaving Factories for another
80 people.
   The following new enterprises have been created: “Apaketaraner” (Glassware) in Artik for 80, and
a new wood processing enterprise “Tavigh” for 14 employees. 30 new job places have been created
in already operating enterprises.
   In Giumri and Artik branches of the Yerevan Gold Factory have been opened that have provided
300 people with employment.
   Efforts are being made to create production of sheet glass that will have very high value not only
for the Marz, but the Republic on the whole.
   The works for constructing a new sugar beet factory have started: the symbolic first stone has
been laid. Its production will suffice not only for the internal, but will also create an outlet ot external


   •   Pre-School Education

  • General Education
  There are 181 general education facilities in the marz, with the following distribution:

   In September, 1998 there have been 7274 first-graders, in 1999 - 4376, while in the year 2000 -
5021. This reveals a tendency of decreasing attendance of general education facilities.
   In 1999 there have been 3989 graduate students (23 Gold , and 7 Silver Medal holders), in the next
2000 year - 4178 students (5 Gold, 14 Silver Medal holders).
   12 schools have been newly constructed in the year 2000. Another 27 will be completed in 2001.
   Repair and reconstruction is being done in a number of schools through the efforts of charity or-
ganisations, such as: 6 schools by “Armenian Charitas”, 4 schools - by “Shen” Union, 3 schools – by
the USA Armenian Educational Institution, 1 school - through Dutch benefactors, and another school
– through financial assistance of the “Save the Children”. Repair works were organised by utilising
construction materials of old temporary dessembled schools that were sheltered in “domiks”.
   The issue of drop out (school wastage), begging and the new phenomenon of street chidren from
socially vulnerable families stays priority problem for Shirak Marz. To improve the situation, the
Marzpet’s office has applied to the Ministry of Science and Education of the RoA with the request
to establish a boarding school for this groups of socially vulnerable children in Haykavan rural com-
munity. After corresponding decision of the Governemnt on this issue, education and upbringing of
street children and beggers will be organised in this specailised boarding school.
   Children from socially vulnerable families are registered at the Education Departmnet and distri-
bution of humanitarian assistance is carried out based on lists created here. Children from this group
are given access to boarding schools in priority order.

  Number of Persons who have Graduated in 1996-2001

  Health Care

  Basic Indicators of the Health Care System of the Marz:

  Population Mortality Rate According to Reasons, %:

   The following table reflects the tendency for growth of tuberculosis, tumours, hypotrophy, amenia
cases, while the rate of turning to professional medical assistance for these cases declines.

   Since September, the so-called ‘Railroad’ hospital has restarted its work as an “exceptionally free
of charge medical” hospital for the Marz with following departments and 160 new work places:
   - therapeutic – 60 beds, of which 10- for neurological patients
   - surgical department – 60 beds, of which 10 are for gynaecological patients
   - children’s department – 30 beds.

   Have moved out of temporary facilities

   - The TB Clinic was stationed in one section of the building of the Hospital of Infectious Diseases
not being utilised, as the result of optimisation of the mentioned hospital;
   - The First Aid Centre was transferred to the non-utilised building of the 2-nd Medical Society
   - The Laboratory of Pathologies and Anatomy is at present situated in one of the blocks of the N0
1 hospital that used to house the Surgical Department.
   - The Physical Health Clinic and N0 1 Children’s Hospital of Giumri were liquidated.
   The outcome of optimisation of the hospital fund of Giumri, the total number of beds was de-
creased by 160 beds, the health system partially was removed out of temporary housing.
   The recent years have witnessed abrupt decrease of health indicators. This does not reflect better
health of population, but is more related to creation of a paid health services system, partial financing
of the state guaranteed free of charge medical services and considerable decrease of general level of
living of population.
   The shift in reproductive behaviors of population, the tendency to have less children is another re-
flection of the difficult socio-economic situation in the Marz as well as a serious reason for migration,
impacts the natural growth of population and results in falling numbers of new births.


1 Some figures of this article (concerning unemployment and employment) were corrected by the author after the Arme-
  nian version of the bulletin has been published.
2 Data on unemployment are obtained from regional Statistical Services and reflect data available before the census of


  Rafik Ghazaryan
  Specialist of the Syunik Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
  Tel.: (0-85) 6-69-10

  Total area
  (15.1% of the RA territory) ...4506 square km
  Population….........................164,1 thousand people
  Number of Settlements …......135
  Number of Communities........113
  Of which urban……….....7

   The socio-economic, demographic and other problems of the Siunik Marz persist and are more
acute due to some specific reasons:
   - Bigger distance from the capital;
   - Absence of alternative means of transportation;
   - Extremely unsatisfactory number of job places (unemployment is some 1.8 times higher then the
average for the country);
   - Low levels of income for vast majority of population
   - Large share of urban population (70.2%)
   - Big number of borderline, mountainous, high mountainous, refugee populated, sparsely popu-
lated settlements, as well as settlements having insufficient land (75.5%);
   - Huge damages as the result of military activities during 1991-1994 (almost 3 billion dram).
   The Marz is one of the biggest administrative and territorial regions of the Republic, simultane-
ously being one of the least densely populated and economically insufficient developed regions.
   All this has preconditioned the high percentage of vulnerable population in need of assistance
(64.6%)1 .
   To improve the socio-economic state and resolve the current problems, it is necessary to create
possibilities of utilizing manpower, raw materials and natural resources. Restarting of production
facilities is also key component.


   The working age population of the Marz amounts to 966002 persons, or the 59% of population. Of
them 51600 are employed. The following table represents fields of employment in 1999 and 2000.

  * The group mostly includes self-employed persons in rural farms

   As indicated in the table, vast majority of employed is people self-employed in agriculture.
   Still, 70% of population in Marz are urban dwellers, and this is why unemployment in cities is
rather high.
   Currently there are 13745 unemployed persons registered in the employment centers of the Marz.
522 of them receive unemployment allowances.
   The low number of beneficiaries who receive this allowance is indicative only of the fact that ma-
jority of people have registered with employment enters during previous years.
   The chart reflects the unemployment dynamics in the Marz during recent years.

  Composition of economically active population of the Syunik Marz, %

   Vulnerable Groups of Population

   There are 9505 refugees in the region, of which: 6339 in Kapan, 938 in Goris, 1684 in Sisian, and
544 in Meghri. 1800 of them have received Armenian citizenship. There are 192 refugee families liv-
ing in temporary shelter.
   More than 17.4% of population are pensioners (27705 persons). The average pension is 4765
dram, which is not satisfactory for the minimum living requirements even. The poverty indicator is
much higher for the lonely pensioners group even though their majority receives family allowances.
Starting from 2002, in case of pension increase for 700 dram, around 700 pensioners only in Kapan
area will be deprived of the family allowances, if the established social allowances marking system
does not change for them (their rankings will decrease for 1-1.02 units). This will further deteriorate
the social situation and will build up the already existing social tension.
   Families, which are receiving Family Allowances, comprise approximately 20% of the total number
of families in the Marz. There is a noticeable tendency of decrease in number of families receiving
Family Allowances since 1998. If there were 11049 families who received family allowance in 1998,
the figures for 1999 and 2000 have been 10936 and 8200 respectively.
   There are 6286 disabled, of which 656 are Ist group disabled, 4267 – of 2nd group and 1363 – of
the 3rd group.

   Health Care

   The Health Care system of the Marz is comprised of 39 Medical Closed Joint Stock Companies
(JSC) with 101 branches (rural health/obstetrical posts) that include:

   Of the total 1795 personnel working in the above mentioned clinics 281 are doctors, 980 – nurses,
534 – other specialists. There are 17 doctors and 60 nurses for 10000 population of the Marz. The
ratio of beds is 62 to 10000 persons.
   8659 patients have received free of charge treatment in the year 2000, 21074 persons have visited
the outpatient clinics/policlinics (for the first half of the year 2001 the figures are 3471 and 154494
patients correspondingly).
   Death rate in 2000 has been 863 persons (there has been 1 maternal mortality case), 1901 babies
were born (for the first half of the year 2001 the figures are 394 and 870 correspondingly). Thus, the
population natural growth was 1038 persons, or 6.3 for 1000 of population in 2000.

   Below the chart represents the birth rate in Marz for 1995-2000.

   Following are the comparatively widespread diseases in the Marz

    * % is calculated for total number of 0-2 year old children in the Marz (737 for the year 2000)
    ** % is calculated for total number of 0-5 year old children in the Marz (10112 for the year 2000)
    *** % is calculated for total number of pregnant women in the Marz (3011 for 2001)The wartime and social tensions
(insufficient level of living, conditions of life, food scarcity, delaying visits to doctor, presence of mining industry and
other) have resulted in long lasting stresses that deteriorate the health of population at large.

   To improve the primary health care, action has been taken within the existing program to create
offices of family doctors in 14 communities of the Marz.
   Various benevolent organizations currently operating in the area have made considerable contribu-
tions to improve activities in the field of health services. The “Mission Ost” organization has repaired
the building of the “Kajaran Policlinic” Closed SC. Simultaneously, the buildings of Meghri and Aga-
rak policlinics as well as the health points in Tashtuni, Alvank, Vardanidzor, Vahravar, Araksashen,
Kurs and Gudemnes are under repairs.
   UNICEF is implementing the “Iodination of Salt” project for endemic goiter prevention. The
“Mental Health Foundation has repaired and handed over the new premises of the Neuro-Mental
Clinic. The health organizations of the system have received 59308 thousand drams worth humanitar-
ian assistance in medicine, medical equipment, tools and other.
   Financial constraints, limited supplies of medical equipment and insufficient transport means as well as
inability of population to make use of paid health services hinder the work of the health system.


  The secondary and secondary professional education system of the Marz includes 119 general, 4
boarding schools and one technical college. Below the table represents the system in figures:

   In mountainous and border villages some objects are taught by specialists who are not educators
or by teachers with general secondary education. 147 students of 22 small villages attend schools in
nearby neighboring communities. They receive transportation compensation from the State. The av-
erage walking distance for these students is 3.5 km. There are 17 art and music schools in the Marz
with 2239 students and 362 teachers. The number of kindergartens and attending children tends to

  Only 30-35% of first graders enters school from a kindergarten.
  There are 8 Higher Education Institutes (HEI), of which two are State owned (the Kapan and Goris
Architectural Universities).

   Environmental Protection

   Main sources of environment and water reservoir pollution are the operating mining enterprises of
Kapan, Kajaran and Agarak.
   After the accident in the Khalaj village dumping area of the Kajaran Copper-Molybdenum Enter-
prise, 1 ha of field of winter wheat. As an aftermath of this same accident, pollution of the Voghji river
basin has been registered several times. Frequent are the complaints received about the water basin
pollution by the “Sipan-1” Co Ltd., which is involved in gold mining of Sipanasar in Meghri.
   One Iranian track with full load of fuel (diesel) had fallen into the “Spandaryan” water reservoir.
The record states 22 million dram of damage.
   Another Iranian track with 25 tons of fuel (diesel) has dropped into Araks River in the result of an
   The Kajaran purification (refinement) station does not correspond to set standards. This has re-
sulted in several breakouts.
   Landslides in several settlements, especially in Kapan City are a serious challenge to the popula-
tion, buildings, constructions and communications.

   The landholdings of the Marz can be depicted as follows (in hectares):

   Forests have been the worst damaged. The reforestation and tree planting is not well organized.
The draught affected many new seedlings in 2000.
   Direct violations were registered during evaluation, registration and selection of areas where tree
cutting was permitted. In the result, high value trees were cut.
   In Sisan region because of scarcity of forests, no tree cutting is allowed, while the Forestry Depart-
ment has allowed cutting 576.1 cubic meters of forests for sanitary purposes, instead of the allowed
maximum of 500.
   Poaching is not being registered. There is not database with complete information and analysis of
  During the recent year there is a tendency of attempting to reinforce rule of law in operating mines
and protecting environment. A complex program of protection of ecological security has been devel-


1 Source: “Humanitarian Assistance and Community Development needs in Armenia”, UNDP, Yerevan, 2001
2 Data on population numbers, working age population and employment are taken from regional statistical service and
  reflect information available before the 2001 Census.


   Nelli Kamalyan
   Specialist of the Tavush Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
   Tel.: (0-63) 3-61-30

   Total area ............ ................2704 square km
   Population ...........................157,5 thousand person
   of which urban ......63,630 thousand person (40.4%)
   Number of Communities.......62
   Of which urban…………4

   The war, ruins in the result of heavy shelling, the 12000 refugees (according to official statistics)
who were sheltered in the Marz, high unemployment, absence of work places, and other such prob-
lems have further contributed to escalation of social tension in the region. According to the survey
carried out by the Marzpet’s office, almost half of the 43000 households are at various levels of vul-
   As of July 1st, 2001, the total population of the Marz was 157000 people, working age population
– 91100 people1, of which 54035 were employed. Majority of employed (66.2%) is people involved
in agricultural sector (mainly self-employed in agricultural farms): 35795 people. Below is the break-
down of employment:

   (table 1)

  Thus, the number of employed has increased during the period of 1999-2001.
  The analysis of unemployment figures shows that their number tends to decrease:

  Labour Supply in the Marz2
  (table 2)

   Thus the unemployment level in the Marz (the proportion of economically active population to
unemployed) during 1999-2001 has decreased considerably and has made 7.4% compared to the
11.3% of 1999.
   The basic demographic indicator is natural population growth, which is reflected in the table be-

  Population dynamics for 1998-2000
  (table 3)

   Data indicate that in January-December of 2000 the natural growth of population as compared
to 1999 has decreased by 1.6 times, which reflects less numbers of new births and higher mortality

  Education System

   There are 82 secondary and incomplete secondary schools in the Marz, of which 2 are primary
schools, 9 are 8-year schools and 3 – colleges. There have been 22835 students during the 2000-2001
education year. Number of teachers is 2830. Schools mostly operate in one shift. The school week has
6 days. There is a branch of the Yerevan State University (YSU) in Ijevan with 700 students. Table 4
represents number of the schools, students and teachers in the region during the 1999-2000 education

   (table 4)

    During 1999-2000 there were 5 operational State secondary professioanl facilities with 905 stu-
dents. Education in these facilities is free of charge or paid. The number od free of charge places tends
to decrease, while number of student places in the paid departmnet increases. The students in the free
of charge section comprise only 27.8% of total number.
    According to statistical data, by January 1 of 2000, there were 4 pre-professional educational fa-
cilities (college) with 495 students in 1999-2000, of which 30.3% (or 150 students) were girls.
    Another major problem for the educaiton system are the street children who beg (28 child). 17
of them are currently involved in the education system, or have been placed in the Dilijan boarding
school number 19. One of main reason for drop out is lack of clothes and shoes. In the beginning
of student year vulneralbe children are being provided with textbooks and school supplies free of

   (table 5)

   Pre-school education. During the 2000-2001 student year 1710 kids were included in the pre-
school education system. It is worth mentioning that out of 61 kindergartens of the Marz only 39
are operating currently. Majority of them are rural, but the urban-rural visitation correlation does not
differ much (see table).

                                 12% of first graders come from kindergartens.

  Health Care

   The Health Care system of the Marz employs 230 doctors, 550 nurses and 579 support staff. The
average salary of doctors is 8000 dram, of nurses – 5000 dram. There are 15 doctors at service to
10000 of population.

  (table 6)

   The paid medical services are not sufficiently formed yet as the vast majority of population cannot
afford it. Some hospitals do not possess (are not provided by) medicine and equipment. Naturally, the
population avoids to turn to medical facilities.

  (table 7)

    The activities of various humanitarian organisations have reached considerable results especially
in the health area:

  - In the result of co-operation with the UNDP, in 2001 the N.K.Aghbuir Medical Post has been
constructed, as well as the Emergency First Aid Station in Berd;
  - The USA based UMCOR organisation has provided primary health care medicine, equipment
and furniture to the health posts constructed under the UNDP and WB PIO project;
  - Belgian “Medicines Sans Frontiers” organisation has completed in 2001 the family Planning
projectand has handed it over to corresponding health structures of the Marz.
   - “The Last Days Saints” organisation has provided equipment, linen and hygienic items to several
health facilities;
   - UNICEF has handed over to the Maternity Hospital an oxygen concentrator, which has very high
importance for preserving the life of premature births. It is further foreseen that the organisation will
support the maternity ward of Dilijan hospital;
   - Under the health project of the World Bank, starting from 1998 and till today outpatients clinics
have been completed and/or construction is still ongoing in Airum, Koghb, Koti, Achajur, Sevkar,
Gandzasar, Paravakar, Aygedzor. These clinics were provided medical equipment and furniture in
August-September of 2001. In addition, they have received Ambulance cars. Such cars were also
provided to the Ijevan and Berd policlinics. The Ijevan Central hospital has also received a mobile
bacteriological laboratory.
   - Agreement has been signed between the IRD and remote vikllages of the Marz for provision of
   The National Immunisation Programe has been carried out in the Marz by almost 100% . The Re-
publican pilot project of Integrated management of Children’s Deseases is being well implemented as
well. In accordance with the Order number 604 from 27.08.2001, two-week seminar was conducted
in September of the current year in the Mother and Child Health Center for doctors and nurses. 52
doctors and nurses received certificates of completion. The Health Department of the Marz received
and distributes to the medical facilities of the Marz psychotherapeutic, anti-diabetic and some other
specific medicine.

   Vulnerable Groups of Population

   The vulnerable groups of population are the poverty struck families, refugees, multi-children fami-
lies, lonely elderly people without family support, disabled. To find solution ot their problems one
should create job places, increase pensions, provide housing to refugees, implement social develop-
ment projects and other.
   Since June 1999 naturalisation program of refugees in the Marz has started based on a tripartite
agreement of the Departmnet of Migration and Refugees of the RoA, the UNHCR and the Marzpet’s
Office. Activities are well organised, visits are being organised to sites where refugees currently live.
Importance of applying for citizenshop is being explained to them as well as their rights and respon-
sibilities. The awareness activities are being carried out not only during meetings, but using local
media. In addition to the naturalisation, projects are being implemented to improve living conditions
for the refugees. Visits are being organised to refugee communities to clarify the number of families
in temporary shelter. Through joint efforts of the DMR and UNHCR two buildings have been con-
structed for the refugees in temporary shelter. The apartments have been distributed to families resid-
ing in dormitories and the hotel.
   As a result, 1736 persons have denounced their refugee status as of December 2000. Around 25%
of families in the Marz are included in the Family Allowances System. The following is the result of
analysis of vulnerable families registered with and accepted into the lists of family allowances recipi-
ents for 1999, 2000 and 2001.

   Families who receive Family Allowances in the Tavush Marz in 1999 - 2001
   (table 8)

   Representation of other vulnerable groups of population in the Marz for 2001 is as follows:

   A number of benevolent organisations operating in the Marz are implementing social programs
that target the most vulnerable, needy families:
   - The “Jinishian Memorial Fund” every year carries out distribution of firewood to vulnerable
families in a number of communities;
   - together with the ministry of Social Protection and the Armenian red Cross Society 18 disabled
residing in the Marz have received wheelchairs;
   - Around 132 refugees will receive eyeglasses through a program carried out jointly by the Depart-
ment of Migration and Refugees and the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees;
   - Food is distributed through the PAROS system to the vulnerable families in the Marz jointly by
United Nations (WFP) and the Regional Social Departments.

   Environmental Protection and Human Rights

   The geographical position of the Marz (North-Wast of Armenia, border with Azerbaijan and Geor-
gia) already indicates vulnerability of communities in the area. Out of the 62 communiities of the
Marz 43 are considered to be borderline. In 14 of those there are less then 500 households. This
means that these communities are small sized and hence, have more acute social problems. Major
parts of their land holdings are on the border and cannot be utilised. They are of the Marz is rather
rich in natural resources and raw materials, but the current crisis makes it impossible to use those to
the best. It is necessary to seek ways and carry out correct investment policy, using the possibilities of
private entrepreneurs to improve at least a little upon previous positive achievements in mining, raw
material production and consumption, using modern technologies and minimising losses of natural
   There are serious problems in the field of environmental protection. The Environment Inspection
seriously supervises the marz, still forests are continued to be cut. Some efforts are being made of
reforestation. Trees were planted in spring.
   Tavush Marz in just one part of Armenia, and hence, it is just natural that protection of human
rights is one the same level as in the whole country. It would not be correct to say that human rights
are totally observed and protected. Current social situation, the incomplete legal field and insuffi-
ciency of legal knowledge of the population are some of the concomitant circumstances.
   Still, it is also true that there is sufficient effort on behalf of responsible authorities to improve the
situation. Attention paid by the Marzpet’s office to this issue, clarifications given to the population
through local mass media on various laws and regulation have resulted in that no major or outstanding
cases of human rights breaches are registered in the Marz.
   The political situation in the Marz is stable. Together with the Office of the Public Prosecutor,
National Security, Internal Affairs departments, the units of Military Forces, other power structures,
the Marzpet’s office totally controls the situation, reinforces the rule of law and order and safeguards
stability in times of emergencies.


1 Data on population numbers, working age population figures, and employment data is provided by the Statistical
  Services of the Marz and reflect data before the 2001 Census.
2 Data is provided by Employment Service of the Marz


   Tsoghik Babayan
   Specialist of the Vayots Dzor Regional Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
   Tel.: (0-81) 2-47-42

   Total Area....…………2308 square km
   Population ..................69,1 thousand people
   Of which urban:……...28,4 thousand people
   Number of communities..........44
   Of which urban:……….....3

   The current socio-economic state of the Republic of Armenia predetermines the main social prob-
lems in the Vayots Dzor Marz (region). Some of these are being resolved through social protection
of the State. By the year 2001, 3204 families representing 16% of the total number of families in the
Marz were receiving poverty family allowances. The average monthly payment is equal to 24 million
drams. As reflected in the chart, there was a decreasing tendency in 1999-2001. Around 550 families
have received a one-time financial assistance.
   There are 11406 pensioners registered in the region, to which 56.3 million dram is being paid on a
monthly basis in form of pensions.

    One of major social problems is unemployment. In the year 2001 there were 1681 people officially
registered as unemployed, of which 1149 were women. Around 1995 people are in search of job, of
which 1326 are women. Only 251 have been successful to get jobs. One hundred twenty-one of them
are women. The 434 Decree of the Government “Allowances for Work” that aims to decrease unem-
ployment, some problems are mentioned that should be resolved at local level through regional re-
sources. Still, to our opinion, the 6 million dram allocated to the Marz in accordance with this decree
is a rather low level of funding for improving the employment opportunities in the Marz.

  The following table displays the dynamics of unemployment in the Marz for the period of

   Taking into consideration the above mentioned data on unemployment for 2001, we still can men-
tion that there has been a decreasing tendency for it in the region.
   Every year the Department of Social Protection of the Regional Office (Marzpetaran) carries out a
joint assessment of the social state of families together with the heads of communities. The objective
of this exercise is to create overall characteristics of the social sphere of the Marz. The main results
of this survey for the year 2000 are summarized below:

   The analysis of the table displays that approximately 29% of families in the region are families that
are poor or live on the verge of poverty. Meanwhile, only 60,4% of this social stratum are supported
by the family allowance system. The number of families with good or average standard of living is
1.7 times lower as compared with the families with lower than average standard of living and poor
families. The analysis of the urban/rural correlation proves that the living conditions of the urban
population are worse then of the rural: poor families and families with lower than average standard
of living comprise 71% of urban population against the 57% for the rural. As for population that has
an average or good standard of living, their numbers are 2.4 times higher in rural communities as
compared with urban dwellers. The table displays that the section of population with average living
standards is formed at the expense of the rural population. The multi-children families, the pension-
ers, disabled persons, the unemployed and the refugees comprise the vulnerable groups of population
of the region.
   As the result of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, around 120 000 refugees fled to Vayots Dzor. Be-
cause of difficult socio-economic conditions many of them had to migrate. At present, there are 4600
refugees, mostly housed in Yeghegnadzor and Vayk cities, Hermon, Vardahovit, Yeghegis, Nor Azna-

berd villages. Majority of them is provided with housing. At present there are only 13 families living
in temporary shelter. Currently there are no operating industrial enterprises in the Vayots Dzor Marz,
that is why the refugees, alike the locals, are involved mostly in agriculture and animal husbandry.
Nine hundred refugees have applied for citizenship and have been naturalized.
    The Vayots Dzor Marz has 12 border communities with total 8000 population. The mentioned
villages are situated 800-2000 meters above the sea level. The population here is mostly involved in
agriculture and cattle breeding. Consumer markets for these agricultural products are 100-200 km
away. Problems with consumption markets further lead to decrease of production.
    The persisting economic crisis and poverty level in the bordering communities result in wide-scale
migration of the young people. As a consequence, the average age of population in these communities
is 60-70 years. The Vayots Dzor Office of Marzpet pays much attention to these communities because
of their strategic value. During previous years a number of schools, health centers, drinking water and
irrigation pipelines have been constructed and rehabilitated through the assistance of international
organizations. In addition, seeds were distributed as humanitarian assistance.
    In 2002, schools, internal and external pipelines will be rehabilitated in the above mentioned com-
munities. In Martiros and Sers villages a TV tower will be constructed.

   Difficult social conditions often compel population to apply to the regional authorities for assist-
ance. The presented chart displays the dynamics of written applications/complaints during 1996-
2000. We can state that currently the number of complaints is decreasing. The increase stated for
1999 is directly related to initiation of the family allowances system. The Marzpet (the Governor), the
Deputy and Heads of Departments regularly meet with the citizens and are trying to assist the vulner-
able families within their scope and abilities. Since 1996 a charity organization, namely “Anahit” was
created to assist the vulnerable families. Its financial resources are accumulated through donations of
enterprises, organizations and entrepreneurs. During 2000, 30 vulnerable famlies of the region have
received finanical assistance equeal to 153 thousand dram.
   The Syunik Chair of the Armenian Church is also taking an active role in assisting and organising
summer camps for children from vulnerable families whose parents have lost their lives or have be-
come disabled in the recent war. Thanks to the activities of the Chair, canteens are operating currently
in Yeghegnadzor and Vaik cities for the total of 120 vulnerable people.


   Education is one of main social characteristics of the society. As of 2001, there were 40 secondary
and 9 eight-year schools operating in the region, two state, one private and one Finance-Economic
College. There are 676 classes in schools, with 11866 students and 1269 teachers, of which 388 are
male. The teacher/student ratio is 9.2 (as of 2001).
   The students of Nor Aznaberd and Gnishek villages attend schools in the nearby villages, walking
around 3-4 km per day. Attempts are being made to provide computers to the schools. Currently there
are 14 computer classes, 2 schools have access to Internet. This number will increase by three by the
end of 2001.
   233 school graduates have entered higher educational institutes. Two of graduates were granted
Golden Medals of excellence. 33 textbooks were received and distributed to students before the start
of the 2000-2001education year.
   The education system of Vayots Dzor for the period of 1996-2000 is reflected in the table below:

   The number of students in general education schools has decreased as compared with the previ-
ous year. One major reason is decline in figures of population natural growth since early 1990-ies,
and migration of children together with their parents to other countries. Education is much valued in
Vayots Dzor. That is why, notwithstanding the difficult socio-economic conditions the drop out rate
for students is comparatively not so high: only 13 cases were registered in 2001 the reason for not
attendance being either disability or other illnesses.
   14 secondary school buildings have undergone partial or general repairs during the last 4 years.
Some efforts have been made in school construction during 2001. A new school building has been
constructed in Por village, while construction of the school in Saravan will be completed soon. A mu-
tual agreement is concluded with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for carrying out repair works in
5 refugees populated and/or borders communities. For this reason, 11 schools have been pre-elected
of which 5 will be rehabilitated during 2001. In accordance with the School Furnishing Program, we
envisage to refurnish and refurbish schools stage by stage. The Marz has already received 700 units
of furniture (desks, boards) that will be distributed to 5 schools. Under this program, the majority of
schools will be provided by school furniture by 2004.
   Even though considerable efforts have been made to improve the situation, still, the region needs
42 educators, especially in rural schools

   • Pre-School Education
   Currently there are 14 operational pre-school institutions. Each one of those has 1or 2 groups.

   Around 51% of first grader enter school from a pre-school institution.

   Health Care

   Health Care services of population in the region are provided through 3 hospitals, 2 policlinics, 2
health centers, 3 rural clinics as well as 37 rural medical/obstetrical posts. There are 92 doctors, 281
nurses and 117 other staff working in these facilities. A diagnostics department has been created on
the basis of the Yeghegnadzor policlinic. A revolving drug Fund (RDF) is operating in almost all rural
communities, thus improving to some extend health services to population.
   Still, it is not a secret that health services often are not accessible for population, as free services
to the population under the State Order System are decreasing. In addition, the hospitals themselves
are not in the position to treat patients even within the framework of State Order in the result of being
under financed. The following table reflects the decrease in number of patients who have received
treatment under the State Order Program for the period of 1999-2001.

   Population growth rate has decreased by 1.9 times for the period of 1996-2000. The analysis has
revealed that decrease in number of new births is the major reason: during 1996-2000 the number of
new births has dropped by 1.4 times.

   Environmental Protection

   There are two forestry on the territory of the Marz, with 16642 ha of land on their balance. Out of
the total landholding 11779 ha are forests. The forests of Vayots Dzor Marz underwent big loses this
year. On August 14th, 2001 fire started on the territory of the Jermuk Forestry, that enveloped145.1
ha. The fire was stopped on August 17th. Measures are being taken for reforestation.


  Shoghik Aroustamyan
  Specialist of the Ararat Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
  Tel. (0-35) 2-10-64

  Total area (7%
  of RoA territory).......2096 square km
  Population ................311,4 thousand people
  of which urban ...103,8 thousand people (33.3%)
  Number of Communities...........................97
  of which urban... ......……….............. 4

   The Government of Armenia nowadays has to solve the biggest problem: creation of a civil soci-
   This includes political, economic and social ideology. Attention towards vulnerable groups of
population, education and science, economy, human rights, protection of environment and health care
are serious matters in a civilized society.

  Vulnerable Groups are in the Center of Attention

   Expert’s evaluations state that around 32% of population in Ararat Marz are socially vulnerable.
Around 8% of total and 12.4% of vulnerable population in centered in the region. It perhaps can be
explained by the fact that 37% of vulnerable population are refugees2.
   Serious work is being carried out to improve social situation and release tension. Elderly people
living alone, refugee families of victims of war are paid priority attention.
   Only during this year, vulnerable people who have turned for assistance to marzpet have received
total of 5500000 dram assistance from the “Ararat 2001” fund. This fund was created through the ef-
forts of private entrepreneurs and enterprises. Those with lower incomes will receive firewood from
the Marzpet’s office.
   Through the joint efforts of the UN WFP and the Marzpet’s office, every family in 10 villages of
the Vedi area that have suffered from heavy hails is receiving food assistance. Total value is 12000
dram per family.
   UMCOR carries out a “Calf” project. It is dedicated to the 1700 Anniversary of Christianity in
Armenia and includes young families from two rural communities close to Khor Virap church (every
family receives a pregnant cow and next year the calf is passed onto another vulnerable family.
   The ARS is implementing several projects. The major and biggest one is the program targeting
orphaned children as well as children of victims of war. Every year since 1991 they receive 120 USD.
Other programs target all disabled children under the age of 18 as well as begging and street chil-
dren, children without parents and poor families. These beneficiaries receive hygienic items, blankets,
clothes and school supplies.
   The branches of the Armenian Red Cross organize events for disabled people, distribution of
clothes, meetings with various organizations for joint preparation of project proposals approximately
2-3 times a month.
   One of numerous programs that is worth mentioning is the inter-grades competition-presentation
of the international principles of the Red Cross movement, or the “Integration” project that provides
free of charge medical services to various layers of the society.
    Elderly people without any family support are also in the center of attention of the Marzpet’s of-
fice. They are registered with “Mission Armenia” benevolent organization. Currently 186 food ratios
of food and household items each weighing 7 kg are being distributed to elderly people who are over
70 years old. On the basis of the kindergarten number 5 Social Center for elderly and vulnerable
people is being created by this organization. Repair and rehabilitation is underway and as planned, on
the eve of the New Year the building reconstruction will be completed. Elderly people will be able to
spend their day here: they will receive food, medical care, will spend the day here and will return to
their homes at night. The center is planned for 100 vulnerable elderly people, but the number tends to
increase. In Artashat and Masis cities canteen operate periodically and provide 3 meals per week for
lonely elderly people.
    There are 410 families of victims of war in the Marz. 87 families who have children under the
age of 18 for already 8 years receive equivalent of 50 USD every spring and autumn from various
benefactors who live abroad. At marzpet’s initiative, 385 families for 3 years already are given the
right of using 100 kilowatt of energy per month free of charge. Through joint efforts of the Union of
Victims of War of the Marz, the Church, Trade Union of Professional Workers around 100 children
get their summer rest in various camps and rest houses.
    The Allowance for Work program is in process. 26 million-dram are envisaged for salaries only.
Mostly improvement works will be carried out.
    11233 families receive poverty family allowances, or around 13% of families. One-time family
allowances are distributed to 1655 families that comprise 2% of total number of families. There are
currently 44045 pensioners registered in the Marz with 4275 average pension. A registered pensioner
without family support who receives more then 4060 pension is not entitled to receive family allow-
ance. Creation of a positive and supporting public opinion towards the pensions system will ensure
effective operation of the system. This area always conflicts with the interests of various groups of
population. The poor demand increase of pensions and allowances, while the rich – decrease of taxes.
The employers currently feel a rather heavy load of insurance; many enterprises are not operating,
which decreases the overall level of social payments. Delays of payments of employed population
leads to the reality that only 73% of the overall necessary sum is being paid to the Marz’s pension
fund. Action is being taken to ensure housing rights of refugees, and providing them with access to
citizenship. On January 1, 1988 there were 62211 refugees registered in the Marz (on data is available
about any changes in figures since then). 87 families are provided with houses. Around 1100 families
currently live in temporary shelter. 1307 families receive family allowances (3374 persons). There is
no differentiation between the local and refugee population in the Marz in terms of providing access
to income and payments for the same job. Locals and refugees are paid alike. It is worth mention-
ing the work carried out by “Mission Armenia” for refugees in temporary shelter. To implement this
social-health program, medical posts are created in Darbnik village, Zod settlement, dormitory of the
Ararat College, Vedi City.

  Employment and Unemployment in the Marz

   The working age population comprises 55% of the total population of the Marz. Total of 53216
families have received land privatization certificates. A private landowner that has participated in
privatization is defined as self-employed; thus around 186256 people are employed in the area of
agriculture. As of the year 2000, the employment by other fields is shown in the graph:

   1 See “Humanitarian Assistance and Community Development Needs in Armenia), UNDP, Yer-
evan, 2001

  The average salary for 1999 and 2000 is brought below:

    Analysis of unemployment data proves that it tends to decrease. The number of people registered
in the Marz Center of Employment and Occupation as persons in search of work has decreased con-
siderably as compared to the year 2001 (see table).
    The employment Center has found jobs for 189 unemployment citizens.

   Education system

   Pre-school system

   There are 83 kindergartens in the Marz with 6170 capacity, of which 64 were operating in 2000.
The table below gives the overview of number of operating kindergartens and number of children

   Analysis for 1996-2000 shows that approximately 73.8% of first graders have attended kindergar-
tens in urban settlements, while the figure for rural settlements is 24.4%. See table below:

   Since 1996 the overall school system started to face a rather difficult situation, perhaps country-
wide. Currently, the operating kindergartens are provided with beds and children can have their after-
noon naps. Only 5 of them work during winters. They are heated by stoves. According to decisions
of 4 municipalities of the Marz, urban kindergartens will work this winter. All buildings are in need
of capital repairs.

   •   School System

    There are 111 schools, of which 20 – in urban, 91- in rural settlements, as well as 1 college. There
are 18 Arts and Music schools with 2603 students. The load coefficient for schools is 78.5%. 107
grades have closed down. 6 schools of the Masis city have been handed over on an experimental basis
to the communities, which has created considerable difficulties.
    Schools are situated in standard buildings, except schools of Hnaberd and Vardashen villages,
where schools were 8-year ones in the past. After upgrading those to 10-year schools, 4 and 2 tem-
porary houses (“domiks”) correspondingly were added to the buildings for the extra grades. 80% of
other school facilities are recognized as satisfactory. Every year schools are partially repaired through
efforts of foundations, benefactors and parents. For the last years the Marz has not received any

technical equipment for laboratories or furniture. The sanitary conditions are satisfactory only in 1-2
schools. In the rest of buildings repairs should be carried out, including the sewage system, otherwise
the risk of breakout of infections is very high.
   Under the “School Reforms” program of the World Bank 13 schools were equipped by compu-
ter classrooms. Only 20% of schools operate in two shifts. Liquid fuel and stoves heat the schools
(except Ranchpar and Ayntap School No1). It has been calculated that the approach of the Ranchpar
School is more cost effective (they sell the liquid fuel and use the money to pay for electricity).
   Schools are physically accessible almost in all communities. It is worth mentioning that only the
Hovtashat village is spread over 3-km area. The school is situated on the edge of the village, and
children of Vardashat have to walk 3 km up and down mountain slopes to get the secondary educa-
tion. After heavy snowfalls communication with borderline and mountainous villages as well as with
schools is interrupted.
   Total number of teachers in the marz is 5450, of which 3660 (67%) have higher education; 90%
are women. We would like to mention that 43% of school principals are women as well. The average
age of teachers tends to become younger. Number of teachers who have left school is 5%. As a result
of low wages and lack of benefits, male teachers leave the school. Maybe military draft exemption for
male teachers will motivate male educators to return to schools.
   School curriculum lacks classes that would prepare the young generation to civil life. The school
education system should not be limited to providing theoretical and professional knowledge and must
form fully-fledged citizens out of a child.
   This year 17 students have dropped out of school, of which 4 – for social reasons. 5094 students
have received certificates of completing secondary education; 10 of them have received medals of
excellence. Out of the total number, 40% have continued their education in various educational facili-

   •   Health Care

    Marz has 4 multi-profile hospitals and 6 policlinics, of which 3 are dental. The hospital in Artashat
is the only one that has a professional neurological department. In total, there are 49 rural clinics and
45 obstetrical/primary health posts. The health Center in Armash is considered to be a preventive
health care center. There are 4 sanitary-epidemic service centers. There are 14 private drug stores.
    The inpatient hospitals are used to 30% of their capacity only out of 1296 bed-places. The medi-
cal personnel have not received salary for 7 months of the current and for 9 months of the previous
    Currently, there are several ongoing projects implemented by international organizations that aim
at training and further certifying doctors for the family doctor qualifications (10 doctors in the Marz
already have family doctor’s qualification); provision of child healthcare; reproductive health, and
family planning. The World Bank carried out primary health care development project: they repair ru-
ral clinics, provide furniture and medical equipment. Every center receives a “Gazel” car. The project
envisages inclusion of 6 communities, with 40 000 USD investment in every village.
    The Marz consistently receives humanitarian assistance in form of medicine for socially vulner-
able groups, groups of population entitled to free of charge medicine; pharma- therapeutic literature
is provided as well. The following table describes the dynamics of the medical facilities and person-

  In all cases, following diseases revealed a tendency of increase during 1996-2001

  Polarization of Society and Human Poverty

   There are 136 industrial enterprises in Marz that mostly produce food and alcoholic beverages.
Still, as maybe in the whole country, production of material goods leads polarization of society and
unequal distribution of wealth. The gap between the rich and the poor widens. Several luxurious
houses are being constructed in the Marz, while there is already a number of families who sell their
houses and rent places to live. While the production amount increases, number of people who are
indebted to bread shops, who are sorting garbage in Sovetashen Waste looking for copper and alumi-
num, women having babies because they do not have money for interrupting pregnancy, those who
stay hungry for several days, who abandon their families and their country searching jobs abroad,
those who are deprived of electricity and use candlelight, those who do not have money to turn to doc-
tors is increasing as well. The drinking water major pipeline from Garni passes through the Marz. It
enters Marz at Zovashen village. Only there the water losses are equal to 100 liter per second, as it is
being used for irrigation. Surenavan, Armash, Yeraskh villages are totally deprived of drinking water
and have to buy drinking water for 25 dram per pail. Shaghap, Zangakatun, Lanjar, Vardashat villages
do not have pipelines. They have one or two water springs used both for drinking and irrigation. Only
15 communities of Vedi area are connected to the Garni pipeline. The sewerage is removed from
cities through closed pipelines and then through open drainage system is simply dumped into Araks
River. This is later being used for irrigation. Initially it was envisaged to install Ozone disinfecting
for Garni drinking water. Because of financial constraints it is currently carried out through liquid
chlorinating – without observance of any sanitary-hygienic norms. Daily laboratory tests are not car-
ried out. During May-June all water-regulating reservoirs were mechanically cleaned and disinfected.
Utilization of the artesian water shafts has not been coordinated with the hygiene-epidemic services.
It is necessary to carry out cleaning, washing, and disinfecting activities in the daily regulating reser-
voirs so that their work will correspond to set standards. It is further necessary to inform the regional
hygiene services on any problems connected with water supplying and quality. According to findings
of experts, rural communities will low numbers on population are poorer. Urtsalanj, Vardashat, Lanjar
are such villages. The 300 hectares of land that were supposed to be used as arable for the borderline
communities are mined. The Ministry of Defense has checked them. According to the military ex-
perts, 8-10 years are necessary for de-mining activities. Because of high costs, Armenia can solve this
problem only through the assistance of the international community. Mines stay a serious problem
for socio-economical development of the border area. Population of this area, naturally, is deprived
of the possibility to plough their own land. Continued economic crisis and poverty in the border areas
trigger further migration.

   Environmental Protection

    One of the biggest evils on earth especially for dry climatic areas is saltines and land erosion. This
is a serious threat for Armenia as well. On the long road of our history we have lost statehood, mon-
archy, nation, lands. In the end, instead of a paradise we got Armenia—the land of stone. During the
last ten years we have brought huge damage to forests. A tree should become a worship item for every
Armenian, as the tree protects the soil, because 1 cm of soil is created during 200 years. We are ready
to plant high value trees every weekend and announce about it through mass media, but we do not
worry about a seedling turning into a tree. The Marz forest is the Khosrov National Park with 27000
hectares of territory. It has scientific, as well as historical and cultural value.
    The Ararat gold mines are situated in the Marz. Areas adjacent to it are polluted by heavy metals.
The waste products that were accumulated for years are now being used by a joint Armenian-Indian
venture. This will reduce waste areas and there will be no need to provide new lands for this reason.
    One small part of the Vordan Karmir Reserve is adjacent to the Marz. Since historical times, the
natural resources were well known to people. Out of 30 natural deposits 12 are being utilized current-
ly in accordance with requirements set by the Government. None of those take any action to preserve
nature. None have Eco Certificates that would mention the acceptable level of wastes.
    The Marz is notorious for its draughts and dry Southern winds (120-160 days per year). There
are landslides in Vedi area. There are water-covered areas that result in saltines. During recent years
marshes are being created in the fishery areas. Marshes further promote creation of big numbers of
mosquitoes. The same phenomenon is observed in collector-drainage systems, as they are not cleaned
regularly. Still waters appear, the result is mosquitoes. The poisonous ethers, other wastes of the alco-
hol production are disposed into drainage. Waters of Hrazdan River are extremely dangerous for the
population. The already dirty waters are further saturated with dirty waters of the Yerevan aeration,
and enter the Marz where it is being used for irrigation. Mud streams, especially the one in Zovashen
this year, further damage the environment.
   Means of transportation pollute the atmosphere by discarding CO gas. There are CO Gas Checking
and regulating stations created in the Marz. One of major issues is preserving the roads during winter.
While attending to this problem one should keep in mind that the salt used to melt the ice and snow
pass through the soil and degrade it.
   The concrete plant does not use filters, because, as they explained it, filters reduce production of
concrete for several times. They prefer to pay penalties instead of losing production, especially as
filters are expensive.

   Human Rights Protection

   Human rights and development has a general standpoint – to provide freedom, good standards of
living and dignity to all.A real criteria for being civilized in every society is the approach towards hu-
man beings, the respect that is paid to an individual by the society, whether or not a person is accepted
as an absolute value, to what extend the person’s needs and requirements are cared for. “The human
being is main criteria for everything” slogan remains actual at present. The question is to what extend
our society corresponds to this principle. We have to accept with pity that the situation in the republic
and the Marz leaves field for serious considerations.
   A teacher makes a student stand up and has not allowed him to sit down for an hour as punish-
ment. This fact was a theme for a seminar. Violation of the student’s rights was discussed and even
law enforcement bodies got involved. Still, when talking about the rights of this student, let’s not
forget about the practice when every class is provided with2 liters of fuel and students are compelled
to gather additional money for fuel and winterisation.
   How come that at least 50% of energy and gas payments are not done, especially if we consider
that the population is very accurate to make the payments. Still, the vicious and virtuous find them-
selves in the same pot and are deprived of electricity and gas (for accurateness of this information the
Marzpet’s office can not be held responsible). Here again we forget about human rights.


   Hermine Hovhanissian
   Specialist of the Armavir Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
   Tel. (0-37) 6-31-48

   Total area ( 4.2% of the RoA)…..1226 square km
   Population............................322.9 thousand people
   Of which urban ………….123.1 thousand people
   Number of Communities.......97
   Of which urban…………3

   The Armavir Marz has been formed as a separate administrative entity on December 4th, 1995 in
accordance with the Law of the RA on Territorial Administrative Division, on the basis of previous
Armavir, Echmiadzin, Baghramyan regions.
   Majority of population are Armenians, but there are also Russian, Yezids, Assirians, Kurds, Ukrain-
ians and Georgians residing in the area. Majority of population (62%) are rural dwellers.
   Agricultural activities are being carried out on 52389 hectare of irrigated lands, of which 39320 are
privatizes. Their structure is provided in the chart:

   Compared with previous years, only in Armavir area 1858 hectare of multi-year plants were ru-
ined, of which 1058 were orchards, and 800 – vineyards.
   In 1999-2000 in a number of rural households 601 hectare of tobacco was planted through the as-
sistance of the grand Tobacco Co ltd. The Armavir area, which was traditionally involved in fruit tree
and grapes production, has changed its profile – this is food for thought.
   There are 7 borderline communities: Pshtavan, Margara, Arazap, Berkashat, Bagaran, Yervan-
dashat and Araks (Echmiadzin area). These are comparatively densely populated, because lands are
fertile, and irrigation system comparatively in good shape.
   As of May 2001, around 7.1% of total number of families were receiving poverty family allow-
ances (7541 families). As compared with the previous year, their number has decreased by approxi-
mately 1.2 times (see table).

    According to official data, there are 27216 (6971 families) refugees registered in Armavir Marz, of
whom 8820 are temporary absent. There are 461 refugee families living in temporary shelter.
    Since 1998 in the result of co-operation of the Marzpet’s office and the state department of Migra-
tion and Refugees refugee naturalisation program is being carried out, which greatly promotes their
integration into the society. During 1998-2001, 1749 refugees have received Armenian citizenship.
    Working age population comprises 30.8% of total population. In the result of migration this groups
of population tends to diminish. Pensioners make up 11.9% of the population of the Marz.
    As in the republic at large, the number of unemployed is considerable. Creation of new job places
is priority. Still, compared with previous year, both numbers for people searching for job and unem-
ployed have decreased:


   The education system of the Marz is in need of reforms and improvement. The eduation system
of the Armavir Marz includes 124 general education facilities, of which 112 are secondary schools,
5- 8-year schools,1 educational institution, 3 colleges, 3 boarding schools, 3 technical colleges; there
are 95 pre-school facilities (70 in rural and 25 in rural settings), 20 music schools, 4 Institutes and 5
professional technical colleges.
   There are 54122 students in the 124 schools of Marz. Around 9.6% of them are first graders (5189
students), and 9.7% are 10th graders. There are 22 students in average in every class in the grade 1,
and 20 students – in every class in Grade 10. There are 4657 teachers, of which 83% are women,
63.5% of them have higher education. Principals of 91 schools are men. By the beginning of the
year 2000 around 100 students dropped out ofschool, by majority of them returned due to the efforts
of communities, schools and Marzpetaran. Still, even though they are attending classes, they have
serious social problems (clothes, school supplies, textbooks). Every school provides free of charge
textbooks to socially vulnerable and especially to orphaned children. Still, this does not include all
children from socially vulnerable group.
   During 1998-2000, 41 schools have been repaired for the total amount of 151990 thousnd dram,
there are still 27 schools in urgent need of repairs, which will cost nother 208 thousand dram.
   There are 91 operating clubs with 25320 seats. In addition, thre are 3 library complexes with 121

   Health Care

   Total number of medical personnel in health care facilities of Armavir Marz is 2188 people, of
which 447 are phisicians, 1126 – nurses and 615 – other staff. For 10000 population there are 14 doc-
tors and 36 nurses. Following is the state of the health facilities in the Marz:

  Below are presented diseases that are directly connected with social tension, unsufficient feeding
and low level of living (for 2000):

    Preventive care is being provided in rural sites through rural outpatient clinics and primary health/
obstetrical posts. Family doctor offices have been created also.
    The health system is overequipped with depreciated non-expendible resources. It has become im-
possible and not feasible to maintain those under the State budget. The hospital bed fund is 1004 beds,
and it is not porperly utilised. The optimization program that has been worked out by the RoA is in
its final stage in the Marz.

   Environmental Protection

   One of major ecology problems of the Marz that is obvious is abrupt drop of biodiversity and land
degradation, that turns soils to desert. Out of 61 thousand agricultural household of the Marz each one
of them utilises approximately 0.9 ha of land. Small landplots make it impossible to fertilise,leave
land to rest, use new technologies.
   Every year on around 19-20 thousand hectares of land wheat has been planted. The average yield
per hectare is 2-3 tons of hey, which is being burnt from 25th of July to 5th of August, when the tem-
perature rises to 50-60 grades in sun.
   This practice leaves a negative impact on land, environment, and fauna.
   Tree cutting in forests and field protection areas is another factor that enhances land degradation.
   Wasting of agricultural lands (turning into desert) is especially intensive in the basin of Araks
River in the result of elevation of underground water levels as the result of wrong irrigation practices
as well as not maintaining (cleaning) and repairing the collecting and drainage system for long peri-
ods of time.
   Another factor for land degrading is serious shortcomings of underground water and other re-
sources utilization. Drilling and mining are almost out of control. The mines and shafts in majority
of cases do not have locks and are being used by population for their domestic necessities. Their sur-
rounding areas turn shortly into marshes that further become areas harmful for lives of human beings
and animals alike.
   Garbage and industrial waste further pollute environment. Garbage is disposed wherever (except
for 3 cities), in the result of which water and soil are being polluted and create conditions for develop-
ing incurable diseases.
   The draught of the year 2000 left its negative impact on Armavir Marz as well. 15 communities of
Baghramyan area were affected, harvest fall short, this lead to population migration. 1835 hectare of
land were damages by double hails that ruined 17-60% of potatoes, 12-40% of wheat, 17-75% of veg-
etables, 27-75 of grains, 22-70% of grapes, 25-75% of fruits. This further affected the social sphere.
Creation of special programs for land and air protection should be priority issue for the Marz, as the
Zvartnots Airport and the atomic power plant are in this area as well.


  Simon Hovhannisyan
  Specialist of the Kotayk Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
  Tel. (0-23) 2-44-84

  Total area…………...2089 square km
  Population ................329 thousand people
  of which urban….201.1 thousand /61.1%/
  Number of Communities............... 67
  Of which urban………………..... .7
  Number of settlements ….……….69

  Employment and Unemployment

  •    Working age population – 180950 people
  •    Number of employed - 61200 people
  •    Employment according to various fields can be depicted as follows:

   There are 9885 unemployed registered with employment centers of the Marz, of which only 752
receive allowances.

   Level of unemployment is 13.9%, though actual number of unemployed is twice as much as the
officially registered number. More than half of the unemployed does not register with employment
centers, as there are no prospects of finding a job.

  Family Allowances System

   Based on the RoA Governmental Decree number 727 from January 1, 1999, a unified system
of family allowances has started to be implemented. This was to replace the various assistance and
compensations system previously acting in the republic and to create a mechanism that would better
target the vulnerable families.
   In 1999 there were 15401 beneficiary families registered, after corrective work the number of
families in 2000 was 13123. After improving the addressing system 2278 families were considered
better off and were removed from the lists of beneficiaries. The list of allowance payments is pre-
sented below:

                                                                                Up until 01.10.2001


    There were 111 operational general schools, 2 boarding schools, 1 evening school, 4 State col-
leges, 2 sports schools and 62 kindergartens during the 2000-2001 education year. In addition, there
are 5 secondary professional and 4 higher education institutions, not owned by State.
    In the current year there were 2272 classes in the education system with 49630 students. Compared
to the previous year the number of students has decreased by around 3270. 4650 teachers are working
in the schools, 78% of them have higher education.

   • Pre-school education.
   At present there are 62 operating kindergartens in the Marz with 4905 kids attending.
   All kindergartens in urban sites are operating, while 12 have closed down in rural areas for lack
of finance.

   Of all first graders 25-30% arrive from kindergartens.
   The drop out dynamics is as follows:

   •   Physical access to schools

    The 8-year schools of the Marz generally are 4-5 km away from neighboring communities where
the secondary education facilities are situated. Students in majority of cases have to walk.
    Hrazdan school number 7 (Kakavadzor district) is 5 km far from the closest school and the sched-
uled bus hours do not correspond to school hours. The other, number 2 secondary school of Hrazdan
serves the Aghbyurak higher district that is 3.5 km away from the school. This creates serious difficul-
ties for school attendance. There are other facts of not so rational placement of schools in other urban
sites as well. For example, the western section houses of the Jrarat district are more than 2 km away
from the school. As a result, many students after graduating grade 8 are not in a position to continue
their education in higher secondary of professional technical education facilities.
    There are numerous rural communities that are spread over 2-2.5 km area and it is difficult for
primary grades children, especially in winter months to attend school and get back home.
    54 schools of the Marz are included in the School Reform experimental program.
    Schools are following closely to announcements by various organizations about participation in
various competitions.
    During 2000-2001 student year around 36% of the 4370 graduates of secondary education system
have entered higher education system and other secondary professional colleges.
    The 30 million school repair works planned for the year 2001 were not carried out because of lack
of financing.
    There are number of serious unresolved problems in the education sphere:

   1. 70% of students are from socially vulnerable families, and the 10% free of charge textbooks are
   2. for the last 10 years the schools have not received equipment and laboratory equipment, old ones
have are depreciated and cannot be used any more;
   3. 35% of teachers in villages are not teachers by their specialty; majority of quality specialists is
invited from other places. Transportation of these teachers is a serious issue because transportation
costs and sufficient living conditions should be provided for them.


  There are three forestry with total area of 23000 hectare.
  There are 43 mines with total area of 400 ha.
• Extraordinary situations that have damaged environment
  Because of spring mud streams and riverbed elevations, houses as well as arable lands and rural
  roads are being considerably damaged. For example, the Meghradzor community faces such prob-
  lems almost every year.
  In spring and summer of 2001 because of high precipitation in the mentioned community all in-
  ternal roads were blocked, many houses were flooded and almost 50% of personal plots adjoining
  houses were damaged.
  Since 1996 personal plots and houses in Hrazdan City and Kaghsi, Bjni, and Arzakan villages have
  periodically been damaged by elevation of the Hrazdan riverbed.
• Harmful operating enterprises of the Marz
  Even though industrial enterprises are not operating to their full capacity, they pollute the atmos-
  phere. Some of these are the Hrazdan Concrete Plant, Hrazdan Hydro Electric Power Station and
  the Asphalt factories operating on the territory of the Marz.
• Nature Preservation Problems of the Marz
  For the last 10 years around 40-50% of forests have been ruined. This has further deteriorated the
  positive effects of forests and has brought to disappearance of those.
  In the water resources preservation sphere priority issue is drainage of dirty waters and their pu-
  rification. This is linked not only to the Water Purification station of Kaghsi which is idle for
  many years already, but also to the fact that dirt from the rest areas is being dumped into Hrazdan
  Around 40 mines of the Marz that are currently being used cover an area of 400hectares. But quite
  often land use regulations are not being observed no re-cultivation is being carried out and wastage
  is being accumulated at places.
  The above mentioned has considerably harmed the environment and has ruined some lands that
  had agricultural value.
  Based on the above, it is necessary to:
  - Considerably increase level of reforestation and reach the target of 150-220 ha per year;
  - Create possibilities and take measures against pests and vermin on 2000 hectares of forests per
  - Re-start operations of the Kaghsi water purification station, start repairs of damaged sewage col-
  - Re-cultivate land of empty mines, and stop utilizing land outside mine areas;
  - Decrease air pollution by operating enterprises to acceptable level.

   Health Care2

   There are 4 hospitals in the Marz, 2 Maternity Hospitals, 6 policlinics, 2 children’s policlinics, 3
dental policlinics, 3 health centers, 1 Marz blood transfusion center and 27 medical outpatient clin-
   Currently the Health Care system is undergoing an optimization exercise.
   There are 740 beds in hospitals. In the result of optimization 8 policlinics will stay operational as
compared to the 13, and 10 clinics will stay on out of the 27. General number of bed will decrease
by 275.

                                                                                      As of 01.12.2001
   The two operational Maternity Hospitals are served by 256 personnel.

   Several rural clinics have been constructed under the World Bank program to improve the primary
health care of population.
   During 2001, 49 recommendation letters were provided to socially vulnerable people, of which
11- for treatment, 7 – for provision of prosthesis, 19 – for surgery and 12 for diagnostics.
   After establishing the paid health services mechanism it has become impossible for the socially
vulnerable population to make use of it because of financial constraints.
   Substandard level of living has given rise to the so-called “social diseases”. The reason is not only
malnutrition, but also non-compliance of services to the sanitary and hygienic norms and the depre-
ciation of the sewage and drainage systems.
   The table presents comparatively largely spread diseases:

   The table reveals increase of number of mental patients and patients with new growths that is pre-
conditioned maybe by the low level of living of the population.
   Insufficient content of vitamins in food has developed anemia of children and expectant mothers.
   Another phenomenon is increase in numbers of STDs (Sexually transmitted Diseases) because of
labor migration: it affects pregnant women and leads to hypotrophy in children. This further affects
child development.

   Vulnerable groups of population

    Listing of vulnerable groups of population mostly corresponds to the one established by the Min-
istry of Social Protection of the RoA. It serves as basis for the family allowances system. Still, there
are families which are not included in any of these categories (for example, families with two unem-
ployed and one under-aged child), who are most vulnerable and in need of social assistance.
    Annex 1 represents the Socially more vulnerable population registered at the Social Services De-
partments of the Marz.

   •   Programs implemented in the Marz that support improvement of social situation.

   The “Allowance for Work” program is being implemented in the Marz which has created 882 tem-
porary employment places (see annex 2).
   There are 41078 pensioners in the Marz
    • Number of refugees in the Marz - 14100 people
    • Number of people in temporary shelter - 2886 persons, 1077 families
    • Number of refugee families included in the family allowances system - 1223 family
    During 2001, out of the total number of refuges residing in the Marz 1020 have received Armenian


1 Information is provided by the Environment Department of Marzpet’s office
2 Information is provided by the Health Department of Marzpet’s office

   ANNEX 1

   Number of socially vulnerable people included in the Family Allowance System (FAS) as of May
1, 2001 (breakdown by area)


About the “Allowance for Work” program activities (As of 01. 11.2001)


Diana Poghosyan
Specialist of the Aragatsotn Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
Tel. (0-32) 3-55-59

Total area: 2753 square km (9.3% of the territory of RA)
Agricultural lands: 133264 hectare
Of which arable: 50647 hectare
Urban Communities: 3
Rural Communities: 111
Rural Settlements: 116
Population (as of January 1, 2001) : 167.8 thousand people1
Of which urban: 47.1 thousand people
Rural: 120.7 thousand people

Vulnerable Groups of Population in the Marz


  (data provided by the regional center of Employment)

   Number of families who have received family allowances and one-time financial assistance during
January-September, 2001:

  Description of Pensioners in the Marz (for 2000-2001)

  Agriculture and Nature Preservation

  Marz landholdings - 133264 hectares, of which:
  Arable - 50647 hectares
  Perennial - grapes: 2783 hectares, fruits: 4430 hectares
  Natural pastures - 3665 hectares
  Virgin soils - 66253 hectares
  Family plots- 5486 hectares
  The forestry has 13434 hectares of land, of which 8583 hectares are covered by forests.

  A number of programs are being implemented in the Marz to improve socio-economic state of the
population. Some of those are:
  • Food for training
  • Food for Work
  • Allowances to those affected by the draught

  During 2001, the following was carried out in the Marz:

   Allowance for Work - 10 projects in 9 communities
   Food for Work - 31 projects with total of 114753 person/day duration

   Of which, according to various regions:
   • Ashtarak – 3 projects for 7877person/day
   • Aparan – 6 projects for 17291 person/day
   • Talin – 22 projects for 89585 person/day2

   The following projects with the objective of improving the socio-economic state of the Marz will
be implemented during 2001-2003: 3

   There are 9 enterprises in the Marz, of which 3 will restart operations;
   Repair of drinking water pipeline – 10 projects;
   Irrigation pipeline problems – 14 projects in 94 settlements;
   Repair of road constructions – 2 projects;
   Road construction – 8 projects;
   Communications – works to be carried out in 55-56 settlements;
   Rehabilitation of cultural centers and monuments;
   In total 2500 persons are involved in these works.


   Currently, 88 secondary, 32 8-year, 3 boarding schools, as well as 3 professional colleges, 30
community kindergartens, 1 sports field, numerous cultural classes, libraries, museums and sports
schools are operating in the Marz.

   Total of 3709 teachers are employed in the schools, of which 65% have higher education. There
are 29800 students in schools. Every year around 240 graduates continue education in higher educa-
tion. 15 schools have computer classes, of which 5 has access to Internet. Preparatory work is being
carried out in another 4 schools. Oshakan village is the spiritual and cultural center of the Marz; its
educational center is being used as facility for organising Republican and international seminars.

   •   Problems

    In 12 communities it is still necessary to carry out repair works of hazardous and temporary school
buildings. Many schools lack male educators.
    For many years already no educational materials have been upgraded because of lack of financial
resources. Laboratory equipment, school furniture is outdated and obsolete. Attendance of music and
art schools is very low.
    Because of financial constraints many programs remain incomplete.
    Low teachers wages compel many educators to leave school and turn to private tutoring at home.
This affects quality of education, that further leads to lowering of general level of living.
    Number of students continuously decreases in the result of migration, poverty, high cost of educa-
tion materials and other rpoblems. The Education Department tries to assist such chidlren through
provision of free of charge textbooks and education supplies.

Pre-school education.

Reasons for drop out for the year 2000 were:
Migration: 7 children;
Poor progress – 6 children;
Difficult social conditions – 24 children

Health Care
(materials are provided by the Health Department of Marzpet’s office)

   Following projects are being implemented in the health area:
   1. “Patient’s Life” – public organization of health insurance
   2. “Promoting Breastfeeding”
   3. “Prevention of Diarrhea and Respiratory Diseases”
   4. “Family Doctors” – 7 doctors from 6 clinics will be requalified and certified
   5. “Struggle against Tuberculosis”

   Human Rights
   (Materials are obtained from the Education Department of the Marz)

    There are noticable achievements in the field of HR (Human Rights) education during last 5 years.
This is mostly due to the work of “Junior Achievements” organisation which has trained 130 teachers.
They lead 3 classes on HR in schools, have created HR cabinets in communities and are disseminat-
ing legal information to the population. Co-operation with the HR libraries in Vanadzor and Yerevan
is highly valuable.
    Recently 5 representatives of the Marz participated in the HR seminars organised in Vanadzor.
Soon a library will be established in the Marz through their effrots. The 5th grade textbook “My Small
Planet” further assists in teaching internation HR in schools.
    Much attention is paid to decentralisation and improvement of decision making structures in the
    Recently the World Learning organisation through its volunteers (especially Stepahn Sanches from
the USA) organised training for State and local self-governance bodies and public organisations.
Representatives of these structurs were learning to pass joint decisions (coming to agreement). Still,
in reality the public civic structures, local governance bodies, inteligentsia and individuals quite of-
ten stay impartial towards participation in decision making processes, even though these decisions
greatly impact the life of the country and their own. There are frequent HR violations in communities
that stay without attention or follow-up because of legal illiteracy or mistrust towards authorities.
    We are well aware to what extent human rights are protected in Armenia. It is not only necessary
to review the legal field, but also to create a system that will operate objectively and look into these
    Today already classes on Human Rights are starting to be included in the school curriculum; this
should create good basis for forming the new individual who will be aware of his rights.

1 Statistical Services of the RoA: ”Socio-economic state of Armenia”, January-December, 2000. Yerevan, 2001
2 All data concerning programs and activities is obtained from Social Security department of the Marz.
3 Data obtained from the Social Projects Department of Marzpet’s office

  Valerik Minassyan
  Specialist of the Gegharkounik Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
  Tel. (0-64) 2-40-47

  Total Area : 5348 square km
  Population : 278.6 thousand people
  Of which urban : 102.0 thousand people
  Number of Communities : 92
  Of which urban: 5

  Employment, Unemployment, Family Allowances

  Unemployment rate in the Marz for the years 1996-2001, %


   • Pre-School education System
   The number of kindergartens and children attending those has decreased during the period of
1996-2001. This can be attributed to the transfer of kindergarten to the communities, the decrease of
necessary financing from the State and inability of parents to cover costs for financial reasons (see

  Proportion of first graders who enter School after attending a preschool educational facility
(%, as compared to total number)

  Employment According to Fields of Activities, as of 2001
  (thousand of people)

  Number of families included in the Family Allowance System for 1999-2001:

   Generally schools are physically accessible for students, but, in some places, the walking distance
from home to school is around 3 km. The droppouts rate in the Marz are related to migration only.
   There are one State and two non-state owned Institutes operating in the Marz.

  Health Care


   Since 1998 UNICEF is operating in the region. It carries out healthcare programs for children.
   In 1997, the ICU has carried out capital repairs of 6 clinics, has repaired and refurbished one ma-
ternity hospital.
   During 1997-2001, UMCOR has provided medicine to 25 health facilities. The Save the Children
organization has repaired 6 clinics and health points and has provided equipment.
   For the period of 1999-2001, the World Bank will carry out construction of 7 medical clinics,
which will be provided by furniture and equipment.

  Social and Human rights Protection

   The region has around 20 small borderline communities, which are mostly inhabited by refugees.
These communities have numerous problems, like drinking water and irrigation, repair of schools and
cultural centers as well as construction of health posts.
   The population of these communities is mostly involved in agriculture and cattle breeding. They
need agricultural loans (seeds and/or financial) as well as creation of job places. The elderly people
are in need of pension increases and health care.
   The general development plan of the regions has been developed in the Marz and has been pre-
sented to the attention of the Government and donor organizations. It includes the essential problems
of the border area communities as well.
   The Gegharkounik Marz is notable for big number of refugees and its high elevation from the sea
level. This leaves negative impact on the standard of living of people who are mostly involved in

  Number of Refugees in the Marz for 1996-2001

   The region has around 20 small borderline communities, which are mostly inhabited by refugees.
These communities have numerous problems, like drinking water and irrigation, repair of schools and
cultural centers as well as construction of health posts.
   The population of these communities is mostly involved in agriculture and cattle breeding. They
need agricultural loans (seeds and/or financial) as well as creation of job places. The elderly people
are in need of pension increases and health care.
   The general development plan of the regions has been developed in the Marz and has been pre-
sented to the attention of the Government and donor organizations. It includes the essential problems
of the border area communities as well.
   The Gegharkounik Marz is notable for big number of refugees and its high elevation from the sea
level. This leaves negative impact on the standard of living of people who are mostly involved in


Karine Hovhannisyan
Specialist of the Yerevan Regional Social Monitoring and Analysis Unit
Tel. 54-33-89

Total Area: 227 square km
Agricultural lands: 8315 ha
Of which arable: 2139 ha
Areal Communities: 12
Population (as of January 1, 2001): 1247.2 thousand people1

Employment and Unemployment
                                       Thousand people

                                    Pre-School Education

  School Education
  Number of School Age Children Who Do Not Attend School for Economic Reasons by Grades (in

Secondary Professional Education

Higher Education

Dynamics of Population Health to one thousand of population

The dynamics of registered patients with new growths (tumors)

Morbidity Rate of Population Predominantly through Sexually Transmitted Diseases

   The Family Allowance System


1 National Statistical Services of the RoA: ”Socio-economical State of Armenia”; January-December 2000; Yerevan,


  Ruben Yeganian, Nelson Shahnazarian
  Consultants, UNDP/Government “Creation of Social Monitoring and Analysis System”
ARM/01/002 Project

   Survey of the Opinions of Families with Three or More Children, Included in the Family Al-
lowances System

   One of the most important methods of social monitoring is surveying. The information promptly
gained through interviews, informal conversations, targeted discussions with pre-selected focus-
groups is as valuable (if not-more) as the statistical data. Based on the results of the survey, the
database compiled according to administrative principles is thus enriched, increased and made more

  Table 1.
  Distribution of respondents per marz (regions) according to
  sex, age and education level

    The survey, the results of which are presented to your attention, was carried out in autumn 2001 by
the staff of Monitoring and Analysis (hereinafter M&A) units of the regional governments (marzp-
etarans), including the Yerevan Municipality. Guided by the questionnaire worked out by us and by
scientifically grounded selection, the staff of the regional M&A units have visited and interviewed
about 700 families, out of which 100 families -in the city of Yerevan, 100 families -in Shirak marz
(including 50 families in Gyumri town), 100 families -in Lori marz (including 50 families in Vanad-
zor town) and 50 - in each of the rest of 8 marzes. The distribution of the surveyed families per marz,
according to the sex, age and education level of the interviewees, is presented in table 1.
    The survey has included the most vulnerable extremely poor families, which have already been
acknowledged by the state as poor and have been enlisted in the State Family Allowances System.
Moreover, these families fall under the rating of the greatest poverty risk, as they have three or more
underage children.2 In fact, the surveyed families, theoretically, are the poorest among the poor. The
purpose of the observation was to study the opinions of such families about the changes and tenden-
cies in their standard of living, life sustenance, social-economic conditions within the last five years
(1996-2000 yrs.), as well as their expectations concerning their near future.
    Below, a brief account of the results of the survey is presented, which is mainly aimed at revealing
and analysing the marz characteristics and peculiarities.
    The first noteworthy fact, according to the survey results, is that the assessments of both the chang-
es and their factors and obstacles that prevent the improvement of well-being, as well as outlooks for
further progress do not have distinctly expressed dependence upon sex, age or educational character-
istics of the family-members who answered the questions.
    As different from that, the shifts in the age structure of the interviewed families and, accordingly,
the changes in the value and structure of the burden indexes1) for the family members at working age
(see table 2) have had significant impact on the assessment of the developments in the family condi-
tions and the expected changes.
    Thus, in most of the marzes, in the interviewed families, the increase in the burden index of work-
ing-age family members with members at non-working age, could not but be accompanied with
aggravation of the family conditions, for a family which had already been in social-economic poor
    Table 2.
    Changes in the total value and structure of the burden indexes3 of the
    working-age members of the interviewed families

    Most probably, the role of the interstructure shifts of the burden index has been much more sig-
nificant. A total and heavy increase in the section of those demanding considerably greater life sus-
tenance resources, first of all among members of 6-15 of age (with their educational and other prob-
lems), has, by no means, had an equal response on the well-being of the families which were included
in the survey.
    To say in advance, in present circumstances, it is hardly possible for each working member of the
interviewed families to provide enough for the solution of the difficult problems of education and
marketable professional training for, on the average, one 6-15 year-old family member, that falls to
his share. Whereas, poor education is the reproduction of poverty itself. This is why social support in
educational aspect, especially to large families in need, can serve as one of the most efficient means
to overcome the phenomenon of poverty.
    Referring back to the impact of the real dynamics of the burden indexes on the objective state of
the interviewed families and, hence, the formulated subjective assessments, we should note that the
prevailing rates of the correlation indexes found in table 3 implicitly prove its existence.
    Before moving to the presentation of other noteworthy facts found in the given table, we should
state that the attitudes of the interviewed in all marzes were practically identical, in respect of the
changes of the quality of materials and food provision, as well as accommodation and communal
services, that is why we have found it more suitable to present the average indicators of the given
    The results of the survey, summarised in table 3, imply the following:
    First, only in four marzes – Vayots Dzor, Kotayk, Gegharkunik and Armavir, and only in three
respects – the moral-psychological atmosphere of the family, fresh water supply and human rights
protection, the general opinion of the interviewed proves to state a positive move as compared with
the year 1996, and only one of the aspect indicators – the human rights protection in Gegharkunik,
comes to +18.7%, which can be considered a significant value from the point of view of statistics.
    Second, judging from the quantitative criteria, general conditions of large families in need have
worsened greatly – by 27.3%, in Aragatsotn marz, and practically all the aspects have had their con-
siderable impact on such a sharp decline (the most is employment -36.7%, the least – moral-psycho-
logical atmosphere -18%). The average rate of decline in the marzes of Vayots Dzor, Kotayk, Tavush
and Shirak, as well as in the city of Yerevan and towns Gyumri and Vanadzor, are also impressive
- 15.3-21%. Against this background, the state of things in the marzes of Syunik, Lori, Gegharkunik,
Armavir and, especially, Ararat (with the decrease rate of only 6%), seem comperatively favourable,
with some exceptions, of course. Along with stating these differences, we should, at the same time,
note that they cannot be considered as satisfactory basis yet for the differentiation of the administra-
tive-regional units according to the complexity of state of things, not only because of the subjective
nature of the assessments, but also because of the fact that still at the starting point, in 1996, the realias
of the given units were far from being identical.

   Table 3.
   Complex subjective assessments* of the present and future possible changes in family condi-
tions by the interviewees
   (%%, have improved/will improve <<+>>, have worsened/will worsen <<->>)

   Third, as expected, according to the assessments of the interviewees, the greatest decline has been
registered in the material security and food quality of their families, with the exception of Gegharku-
nik (-7.3%), Ararat (-8.0%) and Shirak (-14%). In the rest of marzes and in towns the decline rate has
come to 1/4-1/3. One should assume that this phenomenon, which is conditioned by no less consid-
erable changes in employment (an average decline of 20.7%), has greatly pre-determined the sharp
decline both in health and moral-psychological state of the families (on the average 18.3% and 17%
of decline, accordingly). It is interesting, though not so perceivable logically, that the moral-psycho-
logical atmosphere in families in Tavush has not practically undergone any changes, while in Vayots
Dzor it has even improved to some extent.
   Fourth, as to the decline rates of water supply (-11.7%), human rights protection (-7.7%) and ac-
commodation and communal services (-7%), they are considerably milder on the average. However,
substantial differences lie behind these average estimates. Thus, the decline in fresh water supply in
Shirak, Kotayk and Tavush has exceeded the 20% line, in Aragatsotn it has even reached the figure
of 30%, instead of it, though, the situation in those four marzes has worsened only by 3-7% (and in
Armavir it has even improved, slightly, of course, by 1.3%). And then, in respect of human rights
protection, in Yerevan and Vanadzor and Aragatsotn the decline is estimated by around 23-26%, in t.
Gyumri and Shirak – by more than 17%, in Vayots Dzor and Tavush – by 9-10%. In the rest of units an
approximate stability (around ±2%) and/or certain (Armavir- +4.7%)and even considerable improve-
ment (Gegharkounik - +18.7%) have been registered. Finally, in the sector of accommodation and
communal services the decline of about 30, 21 and 15 per cent is notable, accordingly, in Aragatsotn,
Vayots Dzor and Tavush, against the background of comparatively mild deadlines of other units in-
cluding the Disaster zone.
   Fifth, a characteristic feature is the fact that in all marzes and towns, without exception, the inter-
viewees do not expect any positive changes for their housholds. And it is not less characteristic that
such pessimism is conditioned by the nature and criteria of the previous changes, a proof of which is
the value of the correlation index between the data in graphs 8 and 9, which comes to +0.457.
   Sixth, different from the near-future prospectives, while assessing the long-term future (5 years),
the interviewees are mainly more optimistic. Moreover, in Tavoush, Shirak, Lori and even in the town
of Gyumri they expect positive changes (around 1.3-11.7%). 7 out of the other 9 units expect the
changes for the worse to continue, though at a significantly milder rate (0.7-6.7%), and only it is in
Aragatsotn (-19.3%) and Ararat (-20.7%) that the assessment of mid-term projections is graver than
those referring the near future (it should be noted that, under present circumstances, it is difficult to
interpret the data gained in Ararat, as in the last few years they have had the smallest decline rate).

  Table 4.
  The mean assessments of role of the factors preconditioned changes in the interviewed house-
holds’ living status (the assessment is by 5 point scale,
  where 1 stands for the most important and 5 – for the least important)

    Next, considering the data of table 4 we see that in the unfavourable changes that have taken place
in their households within the last few years the greatest role is mostly attributed to the government
of the country -1.95points. The role of other units of authorities – those of marzes and communities,
as to their estimation, is approximately equal and is 1.5 times less significant (3.03 and 2.97 points ac-
cordingly). It should be noted, that although such a stand was not difficult to predict, the self-critical
attitude of the interviewees, that their own role in the negative changes in their households has been,
at any rate, as significant as that of the marz and community authorities’, was definitely a surprise.
Almost equally remarkable is the high estimation of the family and neighbourhood members by the
interviewees, on the average 5% only and about 16% less than their self-estimation accordingly.
    The presence of the tendency of not rejecting their own responsibility can be considered as an
assurance of the fact that, provided the favourable conditions are created, most of the families, and,
first of all, their heads are ready to struggle for the improvement of their own living standards. As to
the other three institutes – the church, international organizations and NGOs, according to the inter-
viewees, their role in the deterioration of their household conditions is meagre – twice less that that
of the government of the country and about 1.4 times less than the roles of the two other authorities
and their own.
    Coming to the presentation of the brief summary of the answers of the surveyed households re-

garding the obstacles, which prevent the rise of their living standards (see table 5), the following
should be noted:
   First, as the major obstacle, the economic situation of the country is mentioned unanimously.
   Second, by importance, the second place is temporarily shared between the political situation of
the country and the factor of the absence of law and order, and corruption. The first one takes the
second place in 8 out of 13 administrative-regional units, while the next one is in the second place in
5 of them. This way or that, the mentioned three interrelated factors, taken together, pose obstacles to
the rise of the standard of living of more than 70% of the interviewed families.
   Third, against the background of the latter factors, the role of the country’s external enemies and
that of the environmental problems are estimated as modest, and, as could be expected, the first of
them is especially mentioned by the families living in borderline marzes (Tavush - 24%, Sunik - 12%,
Gegharkunik 10.6%, Vayots Dzor 10%):
   Fourth, the criminal world, drug addiction and alcoholism, as well as terrorism (though the survey
was carried out after September 11th), are not, in fact, perceived as obstacles by the interviewees.
   Fifth, as to the clause “Others”, the grouping and analysis of the corresponding notes leave us to
assume that, the prevailing part of the given answers were in this or that way related to different as-
pects of the political and economic situation of the country (employment, taxes and unemployment,
utilities payments, market complications, etc.).

   Table 5.
   Frequency of records of the obstacles preventing the raise of the living standard
   of the interviewed families (percent in the total amount of the records)

1 Without the marz centre
2 According to poverty surveys, the presence of underaged children is the heftiest determinant of the poverty threat
  for the family. See “Armenia. Social Snapshot and Poverty”, National Statistical Service of RA, Yerevan, 1998 and
3 The burden index of a family is estimated as a ratio between the numbers of non-working and working family mem-
  bers per 1000 persons. For comparison, it is notable to state that the average rate of the given index throughout the
  republic is about 550 units, while it comes to 940 units for the total quantity of the beneficiaries.


  Nairuhi Jrbashyan
  Consultant, UNDP/Government “ Creation of Social Monitoring and Analysis System”
ARM/01/002 Project

   In autumn 2000, within the framework of the joint Project of RoA Government and UN Develop-
ment Program, in all RoA communities a special survey of “Humanitarian Assistance and Commu-
nity Development Needs Assessment” was carried out, the major goal of which was to estimate the
requirements of the humanitarian assistance to the communities and community development needs,
based on socio-demographic data and opinions and assessments of the community-leaders.
   The results of the survey have made it possible to conduct comparative analyses of the evaluation
of vulnerable and extremely poor population, on RoA marz and community levels as well. And this
survey estimates the representation of the vulnerable population in all RoA communities /on marz
level/, taking as a ground that the following social groups of population are represented in them:

   1. Internal displaced population, including those who were victims of regional conflicts, natural
disasters, man-made disasters,
   2. Refugees,
   3. Single elders,
   4. Disabled, both capable of functioning and incapable of functioning
   5. Large families with many children,
   6. Families of perished soldiers,
   7. Parentless children/orphans, not having one or both parents

   The communities were also granted the possibility to evaluate the quantity of the population,
which is not included in the above list, while still being considered extremely poor. This is expressed
as the subjective evaluation of the community councils, which is based on their knowledge of the ba-
sic social-economic problems existing in the community. The quantity of the registered unemployed
was also taken as a ground for extreme poverty estimation in town communities. The indicator of the
vulnerable population in the community, which was acquired as a result of the survey, along with the
subjective community evaluation of the quantity of extremely poor people, have been defined as an
assessment of the population in need of humanitarian assistance (hereinafter HA)1 :
   The elaboration of the information gained from the communities on RoA marz level proves that
about 17.3% of the population of RoA belongs to these vulnerable groups. And around half of the
vulnerable population is centered in Yerevan (17%), Gegharkounik (16%), and Lori (16%) regions
(See table 1).

  Table 1. Representation of vulnerable population in marzes of RA

   The representation of vulnerable population in RA marzes is quite diverse. In this respect,
Gegharkunik marz is, probably, in the worst position, where the greatest concentration of vulnerable
population is registered: almost every 4 people out of 10 are vulnerable (36.8% of the marz popula-
tion). In Yerevan, which comprises about 33% of the whole population of RoA, the percentage of vul-
nerable population is presented in the smallest proportion (9%). In the Disaster and borderline zones
the vulnerable population is presented in an extremely diversified way. In Lori it makes up 22.8% of
the population, while in Shirak a 15.2% is recorded (see table 1).
   The structure of the vulnerable population per marz is explained by certain peculiarities. In
Gegharkunik the prevailing part of the vulnerable population- 68%- are members of large families
(49.8%) and refugees (18.2%). In Shirak the common part of the vulnerable population is members of
large families (49.2%), handicapped people (23.7%) and parentless (not having one or both parents)
children (14.3%). In Yerevan the main bearers of vulnerability are invalids (30.2%) and large fami-
lies (27.5%). In the rest of the marzes the average proportions present throughout the Republic are
retained. The share of the vulnerable population in each marz is presented in table 2.

   Table 2. The proportion of each vulnerable group in the vulnerable population of every marz
of RA, in %.

   As to the community assessments of the extreme poor, in general, it comprises 9.9% of the whole
population of RoA (see table 3).
   To sum up the results of the survey, it can be noted that, although the greatest portion of the vul-
nerable population is registered in the marzes of Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor, Ararat, Aragatsotn and
Lori, the population which belongs to neither of the mentioned groups, but is still considered to be
extremely poor, mainly due to the unemployment, is considerably great in quantity in the marzes of
Syunik and Kotayk and in Yerevan City.

  Table 3. Summary of the evaluation of vulnerable and extremely poor population per RA

   Thus, vulnerable and extremely poor population comprises about 27% of the population of RoA.
And the proportion of these people in the population of marzes is the greatest in Syunik, Gegharkunik,
Kotayk and Ararat (see map 1). The community assessment of extremely poor people in the marzes
of Syunik and Kotayk and in Yerevan city exceeds the indicator of vulnerable population. Perhaps,
one of the explanations for this result can be the fact that a large part of the population in the above-
mentioned marzes is urban ( Yerevan taken as a whole, 70.3% of the Syunik population, 61.2% of
the Kotayk population), and, while considering the extremely poor population, the communities have
also included the unemployed. The highest subjective estimation of extreme poverty was registered
in Syunik marz - 46.7% of the population were considered as extremely poor by the community lead-
ers, whereas the indicator of vulnerable population is about three times smaller here. In Yerevan the
estimation of extremely poor population 1.7 times exceeds the indicator of vulnerable population.

    Map 1.
    Representation of vulnerable and extremely poor population in the marzes of Armenia, according
to the survey, % in the marz population

   The comparative analysis of the results of the survey on community level proves that in small com-
munities the proportion of vulnerable population is greater. This factor must even more be limiting
the inner capacities of small communities towards steady development (human potential, workforce,
production means, etc.).
   According to the results of the survey, the proportion of vulnerable population in communities
with up to 250 people comprises 45% of the community population on the average. It should be noted
that such communities are mainly (67%) centered in the marzes of Syunik, Aragatsotn and Shirak (38,
17 and 12% accordingly, in the communities with up to 250 people).
   The village communities of Syunik marz mainly belong to this group (around 43% of the marz
communities). The vulnerable population in these communities of Syunik marz constitutes, on the
average, 51% of the community population.
   In the marz of Vayots Dzor such communities make up about 20% of the communities of the marz,
but the density of vulnerable population is 84% on the average.
   25% of the communities in Gegharkunik marz have 500 residents. In such communities about 30%
of the population is vulnerable. In communities with up to 1000 residents the share of vulnerable pop-
ulation is about 36% on the average, in communities with 1000-5000 residents – 24%, in those with
5000-50000 residents – 23% and in communities with 50000 and more residents the figure is 11%.
   The above analysis comes to state that socially tense situation should be the worst expressed in
the marzes of Syunik, Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor, Shirak and Aragatsotn, where the number of small
communities is the greatest.
   The average level of vulnerable population is greatly diversified among the RoA marzes, fluctuat-
ing from 9% (inYerevan) to 51.9% (in Gegharkunik). Such a picture is mainly explained by the fact
that average sizes of the communities per marz are very different.
   The most vulnerable are the communities in Geghargunik marz. Here, in the average community,
52% of the population, while in the communities with up to 1000 residents 6 out of 10 people, belongs
to one of the vulnerable groups.
   In the average community in Vayots Dzor and Syunik 4 out of 10 people are vulnerable, whereas
the indicator for the district communities in Yerevan is 9.01%.
   A double-dimension analysis proves that around 44% of the communities of Gegharkunik marz,
57% of Vayots Dzor communities and 81% of Syunik communities have up to 1000 residents (see
table 4).
   Table 4. The sizes of the communities and the average level of their vulnerable population, % in
the population quantity

   Hence follows the second conclusion: the greater is the proportion of “small” communities in the
total number of the communities of the marz, the higher is the average level of vulnerable popula-


1 See “Humanitarian Assistance and Community Development Needs in Armenia” UNDP, Yerevan 2001, for detailed
  analyses of the evaluation of population in need of HA in the marzes and communities of RA.



To top