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World Bank Group Launches New Advisory Project in Armenia to Support Women and Help Reduce Poverty

Yerevan, Armenia, December 21, 2017 —The World Bank Group is launching a new advisory project in Armenia to support women engaged in the wild harvest sector, to help increase productivity, reduce poverty, and spur economic growth.
The three-year Armenia Gender project, implemented by IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—will help women engage in more productive activities in the sector, and foster their links with buyers and producers. Wild harvesting is composed almost entirely of women and provides a vital source of income for many of Armenia’s poorest citizens, especially in remote areas. However, its productivity is hampered by challenges including a poorly developed value chain, with low turnover and profits.
Lilit Asatryan, Chairwoman of the Armenian Young Women’s Association, said: “Developing the wild harvesting sector’s value chain has real potential to improve the lives of many in Armenia’s remote areas. For that to happen, the currently disjointed system needs to be improved and made more efficient, with standardized collecting procedures, and close links to buyers and markets.”
The project will work with the Armenian Young Women’s Association to improve entrepreneurs' skills and enhance value-chain participation through business education, mentoring, and networking activities. The project will also provide advice to the Ministry of Agriculture to improve the regulatory environment. To ensure the efficient implementation of regulatory reforms and women’s involvement in the decision-making process, the project will foster coordination among key stakeholders, including women’s business associations, buyers, industry networks, and the government.
“Women’s employment is vital to driving economic development, so supporting women’s participation in the labor market is a “win-win” for Armenia,” said Jan van Bilsen, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus. “This new project aims to help women employed in this sector reach new markets, by working with key stakeholders to remove obstacles and adopting regulations that will help develop the sector.”
The Armenia Gender project is funded by Austria’s Federal Ministry of Finance and the World Bank's multi-donor Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality.
Armenia became an IFC member in 1995. Since then, IFC has provided over $480 million, including nearly $118 million mobilized from other lenders, to finance 49 projects across a range of sectors, including financial markets, manufacturing, agribusiness, services, and mining. In addition, IFC has also supported trade transactions worth more than $130 million through its trade finance program, and implemented advisory projects focused on private sector development.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit , , and .
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For more information about the project’s donor partners, please, visit:
The Ministry of Finance of Austria:
World Bank's multi-donor Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality: