The European Union doubled the budget of projects implemented in the Syunik region as part of the "Resilient Team Syunik-Europe" initiative. European Union Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin said this at an event dedicated to Europe Day today, May 18, noting that the five-year budget of the initiative has increased from 51 million to 116 million euros.
"40 million will be in grants, 76 million in loans. I'm sure new member states will soon join us with support to fill in the gaps. I have a very warm spot in my heart for Syunik, especially in the last two years, when times are very hard for Syunik," Andrea Wiktorin said.
The main goal of the initiative is the sustainable socio-economic and institutional development of the Syunik region in accordance with local development priorities. The "Team Europe" initiative was launched in January of this year. According to the Ambassador, target areas have been selected for the joint European forces to work in their direction. The support creates the possibility of providing funds, loans, and grants, combining technical support and expertise.
"Next, we will support the development of small and medium-sized business capacity. We will invest in education, small community development, green agriculture, and natural resource infrastructure. I really hope that all of this will have a positive impact on the region," Wiktorin stressed.
Syunik Governor Robert Ghukasyan noted that the plans have not been implemented yet, the specific areas of work have been specified for almost a year. According to him, the Austrian Development Agency will probably open its office in Kapan in a few weeks and start implementing the projects.
"We understand that we have a very difficult job ahead of us because it is very important and fundamental for us that, with this support, we can implement programs that will be as effective and targeted as possible because it is about increasing the resilience of the Syunik region," Robert Ghukasian said.