ArmInfo. New mechanisms for overcoming poverty are aimed at ensuring financial stability for poor families. This was announced by Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Zhanna Andreasyan at a January 21 press conference.
Recall that earlier the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan announced the development of a new system of social support, noting that the current system is aimed at preserving poverty, which was beneficial to the previous authorities in order to buy votes by election bribes. "We consider poverty and its consequences not only one of the main obstacles to economic development as a whole, but also the institutional development of democracy in Armenia," the Prime Minister emphasized. By the decision of Pashinyan, in February 2019, a working group was created that developed recommendations, in particular, on the principles of evaluating and providing financial support. It is expected that the proposed changes will make the criteria for assessing vulnerability more objective and focused.
As Andreasyan noted, the fundamental difference between the new system and the current one is that the assessment of social insecurity will be based on an analysis of the income of a particular family, the number of children, as well as the number of able-bodied family members. So, based on the consumer basket developed by the Ministry of Health, the required minimum per person is 60 thousand drams. For example, as Andreasyan explained, if a family consists of four people, 60 thousand drams will be multiplied by four, and the monthly income of the family will be deducted from this amount (excluding temporary seasonal work). The resulting amount will be paid as benefits.
The deputy minister reminded that the average amount of benefits in Armenia is about 30 thousand drams, and the current social assistance system makes the beneficiary tied to the monthly payments of benefits, suppressing his desire to get new skills and get a job. In addition, an analysis of the situation shows that often low-income people tend to be involved in the system of benefits for benefits in the education system, healthcare and utility bills. Under the new system, which is still under discussion, it is proposed to issue these benefits based on the existing need, and not automatically.
Andreasyan drew attention to the fact that the new system will pay special attention to the issue of overcoming poverty in the long run. This implies creating opportunities for able-bodied family members to improve their qualifications or to acquire new skills.
According to the National Statistical Committee, in 2018 the poverty indicator in Armenia amounted to 23.5%, decreasing by 2.2% compared to 2017. According to the executive director of the foundation "My Step" Hovhannes Ghazaryan, using the potential of the family to solve its social issues is indeed an effective mechanism, as confirmed by international studies. In particular, this step allows the family to get out of the vicious circle of dependence on benefits, and to find new sources of stable income. As World Vision Armenia Director Zhirair Edilyan informed, the results of the pilot program organized by over one hundred families show that in two years half of them, thanks to new skills, were able to overcome the poverty line, and 90% had the prospect of increasing income in long term