YEREVAN, DECEMBER 6, ARMENPRESS. Within the framework of the EU Economic and Investment Plan published in July 2021 and then presented in Yerevan by the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, the European Union committed to mobilize 2.6 billion euros through various financial instruments for supporting Armenia in 5 mutually agreed priority directions, ARMENPRESS reports, Mane Adamyan, advisor to Deputy PM Mher Grigoryan, wrote on her Facebook page. The following are the 5 mutually agreed priority directions
- Support for a sustainable, innovative and competitive economy. direct support to 30,000 SMEs;
- Promotion of communication and socio-economic development. Cooperation in the construction of the North-South Corridor,
- Investments in digital transformation, innovation, science and technology,
- Support for strengthening the resilience of the southern regions,
- Investments in Yerevan. smart and green Yerevan.
Then, as a result of periodic discussions led by the Prime Minister and with the participation of the Cabinet members, the Armenian side formed a program package, indicating the priority programs under each guideline. The Armenian side also proposed 2 additional guidelines, which are support for access to education and support for waste and water management. In September 2021, this package was officially handed over to the EU side. Working groups were then formed, with the involvement of representatives of the relevant Government departments, in order to develop and implement each program proposal in more detail with EU structures and European financial institutions.
Taking into account the volume of the package, for starting the implementation of the package, priority projects were first identified at the proposal of the EU side, therefore, different projects are in different stages of implementation.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, together with various commercial banks operating in Armenia, has approved projects worth nearly 30 million euros for the purpose of increasing the competitiveness of SMEs and projects worth 13 million euros for the purpose of promoting women’s entrepreneurship.
At the same time, the program collaboratively developed by the European Investment Bank and the Central Bank’s German Armenian Fund is in the finalization stage, with which around 70 million euros will be allocated to the greening and technological saturation of SMEs, women’s entrepreneurship, and businesses providing regional and inclusive development.
Extensive works have been carried out for the preparation of the project of the Sisian-Kajaran road section of the North-South highway (including the Bargushat tunnel). In particular, the social and environmental impact assessments of the project, the review of the technical and economic study of the project have been carried out, as a result of which a number of recommendations have been presented. The project, estimated at around 900 million euros, is expected to be approved next year with a combined loan-grant instrument.
A new budget support program has been developed with the EU and is in the process of being finalized, within the framework of which a grant of 15.3 million euros will be allocated for the reconstruction and re-equipment of laboratories in all science fields (chemistry, physics, biology, geography, ICT) of all the schools of Ararat, Kotayk and Gegharkunik Provinces.
The “EU Resilience Instrument for Armenia” funding agreement has been approved, within the framework of which 11 million euros of grant support will be provided to support SMEs operating in Syunik Province and to finance small community infrastructure projects in Syunik.
A new EU budget support program has been developed and is in the finalization stage, within the framework of which a grant of 14 million euros will be allocated for the repair of 13 educational complexes in Kapan, provision of property and training of teachers, 8 minibuses will be purchased for the purpose of organizing education.
The program for the development of non-formal innovative education in Syunik with a total cost of 20 million euros (10 million euros grant-approved), 10 million euros loan) is also in the stage of being finalization and approval, with which 2 COAF smart centers will be created in Syunik Province.
The “Yerevan Buses” project worth 25 million euros (5 million euros – grant, 20 million euros – loan) has been approved, within the framework of which 87 buses powered by compressed natural gas will be purchased for Yerevan.
The program for increasing energy efficiency in Yerevan with a total cost of 37 million euros (10 million euros – grant, 25 million euros – loan, 2 million euros co-financing) is in the stage of finalization and approval, by which 29 kindergartens and 6 polyclinics in Yerevan are planned to be renovated.
It was also noted that a number of other programs under the Economic and Investment Plan are in various stages of development. Apart from this, the Government continues to cooperate with the European Union in other priority directions. In particular, “EU for Resilient and Accountable Institutions: Police and migration reforms and protection of human rights in Armenia” financing agreement has been approved, within the framework of which a 10 million euro grant has been provided for the implementation of police reforms, migration management and human rights protection, as well as the “EU Resilience Instrument for Armenia” financing agreement has been approved, within the framework of which 5.2 million euros grant was allocated for the purpose of improving the social protection system in Armenia.