Clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) erupted on 27 September 2020. After 44 days of hostilities, a ceasefire was signed on 9 November 2020 following a tripartite agreement between the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. The conflict resulted in the forced displacement of 90,000 people fleeing to the Republic of Armenia, of which an estimated 36,989 remain in a refugee-like situation as of July 2021.1 In addition to those who were displaced from NK, host communities in Armenia also likely experienced significant stress, providing basic services and hosting the displaced population. Displaced populations equally experienced shelter, food, protection, health, education, and livelihood needs.This situation is further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the confirmed caseload in Armenia (231,322 cases as reported to WHO as of 5 August) compared to the general population of approximately 2.95 M people is relatively high. As of 31 July 2021, a total of 173,017 vaccine doses have been administered; while the vaccine is available for both citizens of Armenia and foreigners, there is no disaggregated data for both population groups.
In addition to the conflict, COVID-19 affected peoples’ lives on the macro and micro levels. From the macroeconomic perspective, service-oriented sectors were affected the most, which is evident from the state’s budget analysis for 2020.3 During the peak of the lockdown in April 2020, economic activity slowed down by 16.4% compared to the previous year, according to the Statistical Committee of Armenia (Armstat). Construction (down by 51%) and trade (down by 33%) were hit especially hard. The economic activity started to resume during the summer months, but in August overall economic activity remained 9.8% lower than in the previous year.4 Sectors such as tourism and entertainment services were slowly increasing throughout several years and were expected to grow further in 2020, which was not the case due to anti-COVID measures introduced with the start of the pandemic.5
To support the planning and implementation of resilience programming in Armenia, REACH conducted an Economic Resilience Assessment (ERA) on the acute and mediumterm impact of the conflict and COVID-19 on the people in a refugee-like situation, as well as host communities, in Armenia. As the first phase of the ERA, this factsheet presents the findings from a preliminary secondary data review, compiling key contextual information on the livelihoods situation in Armenia to contextualize findings from the primary data collection in the second phase.