Open Society Foundations – Armenia has allocated over $1,002,000 to address the impact of COVID-19

For around one year now, Armenia has been withstanding the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its outbreak in the country, Open Society Foundations – Armenia has allocated over $1,002,000 to help fight COVID-19, to mitigate its consequences, and to safeguard human rights during this unprecedented crisis.

OSF–Armenia has made the voice of civil society heard, by responding adequately to issues related to the protection of human rights during the pandemic, especially the rights of vulnerable groups. During this time, the Foundation and partner organizations have focused their attention predominantly on single elderly persons, persons with disability, persons with chronic illnesses, persons with mental health issues, victims of domestic violence, persons living with HIV, refugees, ethnic minorities, children with special needs, and socially-vulnerable families—in terms of safeguarding their rights and providing assistance to them.

As urgent humanitarian assistance to the aforementioned groups, OSF–Armenia funded the provision of food, essential hygiene supplies, and personal protective means packages to over 3,500 individuals and around 1,000 families in Yerevan and the marzes of Armenia. The delivery of this assistance was possible owing to the efforts of non-governmental organizations and the coordination with local self-government bodies.

As support to Armenia’s public health sector, OSF–Armenia organized the procurement of 2,200 PCR tests and their provision to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia. The Foundation supported the procurement of personal protective means for the medical personnel of the Nork republican infectious clinical hospital in order to promote the health and safety of the medical personnel fighting COVID-19 on the frontline. To protect the health and safety of persons living with HIV and persons in need of palliative care in our country, the Foundation have funded the provision of free counseling for responding to COVID-19 and promoting the right to access health care services.

A number of other projects were implemented with OSF-Armenia’s support for preventing COVID from spreading and for properly safeguarding human rights in closed and semi-closed institutions, penitentiary institutions, and psychiatric institutions. Emergency support was provided to the protection of the right to receive adequate health care services for persons deprived of liberty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foundation remained focused on Armenia’s small and medium-sized enterprises that were heavily hit by the pandemic: representatives of 50 small and medium-sized enterprises from the Lori, Gegharkunik, Shirak, Syunik, and Tavush marzes were trained on COVID-19 security measures. Grants were provided to 15 enterprises, which could survive only on account of such financial assistance.

The Foundation took steps to ensure access to education for the children of socially-vulnerable families, especially those living in remote areas. With the Foundation’s support, Armenian and math video-lessons were produced and broadcast for elementary schoolchildren of the Lori, Gegharkunik, and Shirak marzes. Besides, the Foundation supported the improvement of sanitation and hygiene conditions in six rural schools of the Tavush marz, thereby ensuring the continuity of education in the schools during the pandemic. Support was provided also to address the needs of children with autism and development disorders, as well as diabetes, whose life quality was altered significantly due to COVID-19. Direct social assistance and professional support and counseling were provided to their families.

OSF-Armenia supported the organization of public awareness and outreach campaigns on the pandemic, as well as online discussions that helped to build evidence-based public perceptions of COVID-19 and to combat misinformation on this topic.

More comprehensive information on projects implemented with funding from OSF-Armenia as part of the efforts to combat COVID-19 is available here.

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