Armenia

WFP Armenia Country Brief, December 2019

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In Numbers

54,899 people assisted in December 2019

0 cash based transfers made

320 mt of food assistance distributed

Operational Updates

• WFP Armenia is piloting a clean energy greenhouse model for schools to sustainably produce their own fruits and vegetables and serve as a platform for teaching students about sustainable agricultural practices. In December, the green house in Aragatsotn province was equipped with a solar station, which will be technically verified in January together with training sessions on solar station and green house management for school staff.

• In 2019, WFP Armenia implemented a snack pilot project targeting pre-schoolers to complement the School Feeding Programme. The pilot aimed at providing evidence of the role of school snacks in supporting learning of preschoolaged children. In December the impact evaluation was finalized, and it showed that the provision of morning snacks to preschool children contributed to closing the “ability to learn” gaps between children coming from less advantaged households and their peers. The ability to learn parameters tested during the evaluation were: processing speed, fluid reasoning, and short-term memory. The provision of morning snacks was popular both among families and among school administrators; as nearly half of children in the provinces were not used to having breakfast prior to coming to school. The findings of the evaluation will feed into the revised School Feeding Strategy 2020 of the Government of Armenia.

• In December in cooperation with Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI) an initial assessment for the School Feeding and Food Value Chain projects was conducted in “Arpi” community in Shirak province. Upon discussion and finalization of the combined School feeding and Food Value Chain project proposal, project implementation is expected to be initiated in the first Quarter of 2020.

• In December, the School Feeding programme continued its preparations for implementing the Cash Transfer modality in Gegharkunik province. The cash transfer model will be implemented from January 2020, as a transition between WFP in kind programming to Government owned School feeding. Capacity building activities for school principals and cooks were carried out and principals received comprehensive trainings on procurement processes, financial reporting, food safety requirements and nutrition standards. The cooks received trainings on food safety requirements, nutrition and menu composition.