Economic sntability and social vulnerability of population is the main reason for the utter decline in birth rate in Armenia. Thus while in 1990 there were 80 thousand babies born, by 2002 the number dropped to 32,100 births. The decade between 1992 and 2002 in Armenia was full of political, military, economic, human and psychological ups and downs, without having stable economic guarantees women tend to avoid pregnancies or break them up while if baby has nevertheless born young parents experience severe problems in earning for the basic necessities for the child. The state subsidies do not suffice to meet the needs of the families so there are two options: to give up having children or hope that support will come from some other place.
The data provided by the Health Care and Social Security Ministry on the social situation of the socially vulnerable families having newborns were deeply concerning for the “Hayastan” Fund. In 2002, the Annual Meeting the Board of Trustees of the “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund made a decision to launch the program. It was aimed at provision of the emergency assistance packages to the vulnerable parents with newborn kids. According to the estimates there are 5,000 such families in Armenia.
"Women with University Degree" non-governmental organization took the initiative for the project implementation in cooperation with another fifteen women-lead NGOs.
The project began in 2003. Its implementation has been divided into several stages. The residents of Syunic Marz became the recipients of the first pool of assistance. Newborns were provided with $150 worth assistance packages containig basic necessities:; food, medicine and clothes.
The project received $750,000 worth donations during the first year. The donations for the project were provided by the Cyprus, Brazil and Canada. Financial assistance to the project came also from Armenian sponsors.
The next round of assistance distribution will take place in Tavush Marz. It is worth to mention that in selecting the location the Fund considered many factors: low birthrate, closeness to the border, large number of socially vulnerable families. Thoroughful verification of the beneficiaries lists is made to ensure that really needy families are beinf included.
It's difficult to imagine the excitement of the mothers when they receive the assistance packages. Many of those are single mothers, refugees or homeless. But newborn kids don't have to feel all those inconveniences: nothing should harm their health, risk their security and influence their future. Those are the problems to be solved by the adults. However sometimes even the grown- up person feels helpless and unprotected as a child.
Let us help the newborns of insecure families.
The estimated amount for one child is $150 U.S. dollars.The annual project budget is $750,000 U.S. dollars.