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Global Gateway Forum: EU announces over €10 million to support education opportunities in Armenia

At the Global Gateway Forum, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer signed part of a financial package to improve education infrastructure in Armenia. The package will include a grant of €10 million provided by the European Commission through EIB Global.

The financed project encompasses the construction of two extracurricular education and teacher training centres in the municipalities of Kapan and Goris in southern Armenia’s Syunik region. The centres will be operated by the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), a non-profit organisation devoted to advancing educational opportunities and building infrastructure for children and families in rural Armenia.

The centres will provide after-school educational opportunities and access to youth services for children aged six to 18. Through a special transport network, up to 6 000 students will be brought to learn subjects like mechanics, programming, entrepreneurship, languages, arts, music and athletics. They will also enjoy access to social workers and education counsellors, study trips and presentations by external experts and professionals.

The project supports the flagship initiative for Armenia “Investing in education, notably in the Syunik region” under the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership. It is also an integral part of the Team Europe Initiative on Resilient Syunik, which supports the socioeconomic resilience of the southern region of Armenia — the region most affected by the 2020 hostilities and the recent plight of mass displacement of Karabakh Armenians. 

EIB President Werner Hoyer said, “As the EU bank, we are committed to supporting the development of human capital, economic resilience and social cohesion in Armenia, in line with the EU priorities in the country. This Team Europe initiative is not only an investment in a better education system and future for Armenian children, but it will also contribute to reducing urban-rural divides and gender gaps in the country.”

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said, ’Today’s announcement is another proof of the EU’s commitment to Armenia’s reforms in education, to enhance its quality, modernisation and relevance to economy and society. Education is a priority under the Economic and Investment Plan’s flagships for Armenia, and I am pleased to see that the construction of two non-formal education centres in the Syunik region will be a reality. This will ensure the quality of rural education and workforce development and prepare young people of Armenia, including vulnerable groups, to find appropriate jobs in a competitive job market. This is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to education in Armenia, to which we committed recently a €32 million budget support for the implementation of the education strategy.’

President of the Republic of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan stated, “Today an important step was taken towards the realisation of the two non-formal education centres to be constructed in the Syunik Region of Armenia and to be operated by the COAF. This can help to further strengthen the links between formal and non-formal education, as the latter is an essential auxiliary to the former. Moreover, the construction of these smart centres in Syunik will contribute to a bigger goal of developing the southern regions of Armenia.”

Background information

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s new specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance outside of the European Union. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, and as part of the EU Global Gateway strategy, alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the EIB Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world

The Global Gateway Forum brings together for the first time an assembly of government representatives from the European Union and across the globe, alongside key stakeholders and thought leaders from the private sector, civil society, financial institutions and international organisations. Through the forum, they promote global investment in transformative infrastructure — hard and soft — to deliver on sustainable development goals.

Global Gateway is the European Union’s strategy for reducing the worldwide investment gap by boosting smart, clean and secure connections in digital, energy and transport sectors, and by strengthening health, education and research systems. The Global Gateway strategy embodies a Team Europe approach that brings together the European Union, Member States and European development finance institutions. It aims to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027, creating essential links rather than dependencies, and closing the global investment gap.