Last week, we began working with a young family as part of our efforts to aid Armenia’s most vulnerable as they suffer the fallout from the economic crisis. This family’s father, Hamlet, is dependent on seasonal work, traditionally spending the spring, summer and fall working to store up the money and food his wife and daughter (pictured) will need to survive the long, harsh Armenian winter.
However, because of the global economic crisis, seasonal work has been extremely rare this year. Hundreds of families are facing up to four months of sub-zero weather without any fuel for heat and with scant food. Families that have spent years on the brink are about to be pushed over the edge.
Through our Emergency Relief Fund and the Zangakatun Social Services program, we are currently working with 170 of Armenia’s most vulnerable families, but the effects of the economic crisis will be felt most severely in the coming months. Despite this rising need, the Armenian government’s coming budget contains no new allowances for poverty relief, which means hundreds of newly-impoverished families will be left without social safety nets. Furthermore, our research has shown widespread debt at bread stores in Yerevan’s blue collar neighborhoods.
Now is the time to act. Because of support we’ve received throughout the year, we were able to help Hamlet purchase food and firewood to help his daughter endure the coming winter, and are now helping him to find work. However, there are hundreds of other families that will need similar assistance in order to survive. Even a modest donation can help prevent hypothermia or malnutrition; please lend your encouragement and support by making a donation to our Emergency Relief Fund today.