On December 9, 2021, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Switzerland in Armenia Stefan Kloetzli, and the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland in Armenia and equally Deputy Regional Director of Swiss Cooperation South Caucasus Werner Thut informed the media about the new Swiss Cooperation Programme for the South Caucasus Region 2022-2025. The Programme describes the objectives, which Switzerland’s International Cooperation aims to achieve in the South Caucasus. In Armenia, the budget of the new Programme will be doubled, amounting to tentatively over CHF 20 mio over the course of four years.
The Swiss Cooperation Programme for the South Caucasus Region 2022-2025 will focus on four key areas: 1) promoting civic engagement and cooperation in the region, 2) strengthening democracy and public institutions, 3) improving economic development and creation of decent jobs, and 4) strengthening climate resilience and sustainable resource management. Poverty reduction will be considered as a key requirement in all Swiss financed projects in the South Caucasus region whenever possible. The programme gives particular attention to regional cooperation.
Switzerland’s support to Armenia will continue to focus on strengthening the rural economy by diversification of agricultural value chains, further improving accountability mechanisms, civic oversight and transparency in politics, as well as conservation of biodiversity and the natural endowment in response to climate change. Apart from these thematic focuses, Switzerland will further finance small initiatives by local NGOs on topics such as media, migration, and environment. Moreover, Switzerland will support the local Armenian art scene by financing cultural projects, as part of a regional art and culture programme.
All these activities will build on more than 30 years of Swiss engagement in Armenia. “Thanks to its long-standing engagement in the region, Switzerland has built strong and trustful relations with Armenia. The new Regional Cooperation Programme is the continuity of this strong and close relationship,” said Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Stefan Kloetzli during the launch event of the programme.
Werner Thut, Deputy Regional Director of Swiss Cooperation South Caucasus, presented the new Regional Programme on December 8, 2021, at the Congress Hotel, Yerevan. Deputy Ministers and Senior Officials from the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports participated to the event physically and on-line. Moreover, representatives of the international donor community and partner organizations, civil society, and academia participated to the launch event.