Today, the exhibition titled “Home is what they need” was launched at the UN House, which was organized by the UN Department of Public Information and Armenian Caritas Benevolent NGO. The exhibition is dedicated to the Armenia’s progress in the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
It features Gyumri-based young photographer Hayk Barsegyan’s photos of Gyumri earthquake survivers’ everyday reality and is aimed to further draw public attention to their social problems, and to discuss solutions for vulnerable groups from Gyumri who still live in containers, designed for temporary use.
The exhibition and the follow-up information campaign are in line with the MDGs, especially MDG 1 – Eradication of the extreme poverty and hunger. This also goes hand-in-hand with the Armenian Government’s long-term plan “Poverty Reduction Strategy”.
Maria Dotsenko, the Representative of the UN Department of Public Information Office in Armenia, said: “We support the Armenian Government and civil society’s efforts to achieve MDGs and to eradicate poverty. Since 2000, tangible results prove that progress has been made in Armenia, but despite these successes, more needs to be done. The UN in Armenia traditionally draws public attention to the issues of the UN global agenda through Armenian art and its rich traditions, whatever its expressions may be.”
The exhibition will further trigger public debate among authorities, private sector, civil society representatives, media and international community about what else needs to be done to help survivors of the earthquake.
Anahit Mkhoyan, the Executive Director of the Armenian Caritas, commented: “The dignity of the human beings starts from the place where they live. For Armenians home means everything. Not having a home, it is the ultimate poverty for them”.
On December 7 of 1988, a devastating earthquake strike the Northern regions of Armenia, as a result of which 25,000 people perished, 15-17,000 of which – in Gyumri. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of RA, 514,000 people were left without shelter. Now 4,000 families in Gyumri still live in containers.