WFP/Abeer Etefa

The Situation

Armenia is a food-deficit country, highly vulnerable to external shocks. Border closures with neighbouring Turkey and Azerbaijan since Armenia’s independence in 1991 have constrained economic development of the landlocked state. According to the latest National Statistical Service data, the poverty rate constituted 30 percent of the population in 2015. Armenia ranks 60 of 149 countries on the Gender Inequality Index.

World Food Programme's Work

WFP has been operating a school meals program in Armenia since 2010. This project has a two-fold objective: to support the food security and education of children through school meals, and to support the Government of Armenia in developing and implementing a sustainable, cost-effective and nutrition-sensitive national school meals program.

From September 2015, the school meals program has:

  • Provided hot meals to 81,500 primary schoolchildren
  • Distributed take-home rations to 1,700 kitchen helpers involved in daily preparation of school meals

Of these, the Government of Armenia is funding the costs of 21,500 primary schoolchildren in three provinces. With the technical support of WFP’s cooperating partner, Social and Industrial Food Services Institute (SIFI), WFP pursues the objective of fostering government ownership of the national school meals program by the gradual handover of the remaining seven provinces of the country.