Energising Schools : A Case Study in Armenia, September 2021

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According to the WFP’s food security and vulnerability assessment in December 2020, about 20 percent of households with school children were food insecure in Armenia, a slightly higher level than those without school children. The country’s relatively strong agricultural performance since 2001 has resulted in substantially increasing self-sufficiency levels of main food products and overall food availability. However, this availability highly depends on food imports. The country still imports 50.5 percent of the supplied wheat, as well as much of its legumes, poultry, pork, and 92 percent of vegetable oil.

This reveals the vulnerability of the country’s population to foreign food markets and food price fluctuations. The country is also characterised by high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Considerable differences in food security are linked to vulnerable groups or particularly fragile regions. Production costs and postharvest losses are still high, while mechanisation levels and coverage of land used for agriculture are low.
The Arpi community is particularly vulnerable compared with the rest of the country. Schools are connected to the national electricity and gas grids but struggle to pay bills for cooking and heating. Local dairy and poultry farmers, on the other hand, are faced with high energy costs that limit farmers’ ability to increase production. In turn, high production costs make it difficult to compete with market prices against larger producers.