May 31, 2011

On May 31, 2011, the USAID-funded Small Scale Infrastructure Program
(SSIP), implemented by Cooperative Housing Foundation International
(CHF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia
signed a Statement of Understanding (SOA) related to the implementation
of two potable water system rehabilitation projects in Tavush region.

The SOA was signed by UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident
Representative in Armenia Ms. Dafina Gercheva and CHF International
Armenia Branch Country Director Mr. Zoran Radic, with participation
of national and international stakeholders and representatives of
mass media.

The main objective of the document is to provide support to enhanced
rural development in Armenia putting the emphasis on increasing living
standards of the rural households through temporary employment and
provision reconstruction of vital infrastructure.

SSIP and UNDP/Armenia will jointly implement projects in the border
communities of Aygepar and Voskevan in Tavush region. Potable water
systems in communities are over 50 years old and are in need of
serious repairs and improvement. The leakages in the systems do not
allow providing the communities with regular water supply.

Construction of 2.5 km pipeline in Aygepar and 4 km pipeline in
Voskevan with necessary infrastructure will allow community members
to have drinking water round-the-clock.

UNDP will provide the pipes to the projects, while CHF will carry out
overall construction, mobilize the community and follow the timely and
duly implementation of the project together with its local partner,
Shen NGO.

"UNDP works at national, regional and local levels to provide targeted
response to development challenges in Armenia. Addressing the needs of
bordering communities and providing community residents with an access
to basic infrastructure and services is one of the high priorities
on the UNDP agenda. By working together with CHF, we can change for
better the living standards in Aygepar and Voskevan communities,"
said Dafina Gercheva, UN RC/UNDP RR.

The signing of the Statement of Understanding is a continuation of a
successful collaboration between CHF International Armenia Branch and
the UN Office in Armenia. In 2010, SSIP and UNDP reconstructed Sevkar
community kindergarten (Tavush region), while SSIP and WFP collaborated
on 12 water system rehabilitation projects in the regions of Tavush,
Shirak, Gegharkunik and Lori. 4 of these projects are still under

In his remarks CHF Country Director Zoran Radic said: "USAID funded
SSIP has a great advantage to similar projects because it has been
able to mobilize a number of partners who together contributed to its
objectives. To date, CHF has been able to generate $1.5 million in
matching funds from different government and non-governmental sources
for SSIP in addition to USAID's $3.5 million. These two projects are
yet another great example of the collaborative effort of international
community for the benefit of residents of Aygepar and Voskevan."