Financial literacy trainings for rural populations in Armenia and Azerbaijan to better cope with COVID-19 crisis

Project term: 15.08.2021-15.05.2022

Appropriate financial planning, budget management and investment strategies are essential for households in crisis situations, especially in rural areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has a particularly detrimental impact on people who are already marginalized. Therefore, German Sparkassenstiftung implemented projects in Armenia and Azerbaijan – in line with to the GIZ ECOServe regional project.

These projects supported farmers and rural households with needs-based training. The improvement of financial competence and entrepreneurial skills were the main objectives - especially in relation to the sustainable use of the countries’ natural resources.

In Armenia, the focus was on promoting energy-efficient action at household level in combination with sustainable budget management. The target group were poor households from rural areas. Especially in the cold season, poorer households rely upon their profits and savings from economic activities from the summer months and autumn harvests. Energy-efficient investments to reduce spending on energy and natural resources are an important factor in household management and environmental protection.

3,656 beneficiaries participated in the trainings in different rural regions. As a haptic tool, German Sparkassenstiftung developed a calculator which helps to analyze opportunities to increase a household’s energy efficiency.

In Azerbaijan, the trainings focused on financial education and business plan development for smallholder farmers and their families. 233 smallholder farmers from the Kurdamir region were trained in operational planning, financial management, and accounting to increase their businesses’ resilience to external shocks. These measures also opened new business opportunities, such as access to e-commerce.

51 farmers were coached and supported in development of business plans. All of them received loans from local banks. Kurdamir Center of Agrarian Services Agency participated in ToT, received training materials and is now able to conduct trainings for other farmers.

The project activities also included capacity building for government authorities (e.g. Ministry of Agriculture).

The ECOServe regional project aims to improve the preconditions for sustainable and biodiversity-friendly use of natural resources in the prevailing land-use systems in the South Caucasus. Special focus is on energy security for the rural population. The aim is to use sustainable approaches to create a balance between the usage and conservation of natural resources and thus to promote biodiversity and climate protection.

The regional project ECOserve of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is carried out on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the European Union.

By working on this project, we are contributing to the fulfillment of these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in accordance with the 2030 Agenda:

German Sparkassenstiftung for International Cooperation
Regional Office Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Ilia Chavchavadze Avenue 47a
0179 Tbilisi, Georgia

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