South Caucasus A prospect for the South Caucasus:
Christian Bobst

A prospect for the South Caucasus: Income opportunities and addressing conflict

HEKS/EPER in South Caucasus

In the South Caucasus HEKS is active in Georgia and Armenia and works with 13 local partner organizations (NGOs, farmers' associations, small businesses). Through income-generating activities and by strengthening civil society, the aim is to promote peaceful coexistence and improve living conditions in rural areas.

In the South Caucasus HEKS is active in Georgia and Armenia and works with 13 local partner organisations (NGOs, farmers' associations, small businesses). Through income-generating activities and by strengthening civil society, the aim is to promote peaceful coexistence and improve living conditions in rural areas.

 

Context 

The South Caucasus is strongly influenced by its post-Soviet past. Poverty and hopelessness are especially acute in rural areas. People are migrating to the cities or abroad, thereby creating considerable dependence on money remittances from migrant workers. In addition, South Caucasus countries witness the conflict of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia and around Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan-Armenia).Transforming the conflict is being rendered difficult by its instrumentalization for domestic political purposes, entrenched opinions and rampant nationalism. The upshot is very little visible progress. In addition to armed conflicts, the South Caucasus is also regularly affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes, flooding and drought. On the one hand, economic development is very unevenly distributed and on the other, it is limited mainly to urban areas. The HEKS/EPER programme in the South Caucasus therefore focuses on rural areas.

 

Objectives and priorities

The regional program aims to improve living conditions for the population of South Caucasus through economic development and social inclusion and an active civil society advocating towards supportive policies and enhancing a peaceful coexistence.

The program plans to reach the vision and overall objective of the program through the four outcomes below:

  • Rural populations to have sustainable income and increased capacities to overcome climate related challenges.
  • To support policies and practices related to climate change, economic and social inclusion, to adopt conflict transformation by local and national governments.
  • To build up a critical mass of youth with a positive attitude and personal relationships towards peace, the other and/or discriminated and excluded groups (youth, women, ethnic minorities).
  • To Improve intra- and inter-group relations between disadvantaged groups (youth, women, national minorities) and mainstream society to contribute to social inclusion and economic development.
 
HEKS Regionalprogramm Südkaukasus Ziele
Walter Imhof

Where, with whom and for whom we work

Within the rural development domain, HEKS/EPER South Caucasus is working in specific regions of Armenia and Georgia, namely Syunik and Gegharkunik Marz in Armenia, and Samegrelo, Imereti, Guria, Kakheti, Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions in Georgia. In the Conflict Transformation, the program is less geographically focused and works in most regions of the two countries. 


The main project participants of the program are smallholder farmers (men and women), rural residents who due to the program interventions benefit from social and/or economic changes, ethnic minorities, IDPs and other excluded groups (women, youth) participating in the program activities, and young girls and boys involved in peace building/CT actions.


HEKS/EPER South Caucasus works directly with right-holders, but in most cases right-holders benefit through cooperation of the project with target groups, such as marketing groups, private companies, state institutions and agencies, educational institutions and religious institutions, media, associations, cooperatives, private and state learning institutions, experts and CSOs. 
 

Project and partner portfolio

The HEKS/EPER South Caucasus program aims to partner with organizations proven to be mutually beneficial, trustworthy, and effective in terms of achieved results. Commitment to agreed terms and transparency are, among others, major criteria influencing the program’s decision on the continuation of partnerships. During 2022 HEKS/EPER South Caucasus collaborated with 13 partners (4 in Armenia and 9 in Georgia) and supervised 8 projects. 3 in Armenia, 4 in Georgia and 1 regional were implemented by HEKS/EPER South Caucasus and partner organizations. 3 out of 8 projects are mandated projects self-implemented by HEKS/EPER in cooperation with local partners. Mandated projects are EU - “Civil Society Strengthening for equal and full participation in civic, economic and political life”;  DANIDA - Organic hazelnut value chain creates income and decent employment in Western Georgia and SDC - “MAVETA - Modernizing VET in Agriculture in Armenia”. “Strengthening Journalists’ Knowledge and Skills in Fact-Based Reporting” project is jointly funded by HEKS/EPER and Bread for the World.

Data's yard
PROJECTS IN SOUTH CAUCASUS

Ongoing projects

SC finished projects
PROJECTS IN SOUTH CAUCASUS

Finished projects

Hazelnut project

News & recent developments


Further information

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