YEREVAN (Arka) — A total of 1.1 billion drams worth projects have been implemented in Armenia’s south-eastern province of Syunik which borders Iran and Azerbaijan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Wednesday at a meeting of an inter-agency working group set up by the government in 2021 January to oversee these and other projects.

“These projects involved a wide range of areas- from agriculture to sports, and I think that in the new environment, we have now they have played and are playing a significant role in making the Syunik region more sustainable,” the government press service quoted Pashinyan as saying.

The members of the interagency working group reported on the work implemented in these areas, including road and housing construction, ensuring traffic safety, improvement of infrastructure and environmental protection.

For the agricultural sector new irrigation systems have been built, new agricultural machinery have been distributed to communities, and new infrastructure has been built in a number of settlements. Work on the digitization of agricultural land is underway, which is scheduled to be completed within a month and on its basis a development plan for each community will be elaborated, according to the government.

Construction of a residential quarter in borderline Shurnukh village is underway: it will be ready in the first half of 2022. The deadline is stipulated by the contract.

During the meeting, Pashinyan added that in addition to the aforementioned projects, strategic reforms in the education sector are to be implemented in Syunik.

“The new model is being tested for the first time in the enlarged community of Kapan; the government is allocating 9 billion drams for this purpose. Similar programs will be implemented in other large communities of Syunik,” Pashinyan said.

The PM reminded that as a result of cooperation with the European Union, a program for enhancing sustainability of Syunik region is planned.

In July 2021, the European Union approved 1.6 billion euros of funding for five flagship initiatives in Armenia in the next 5 years. Under one of the programs, Brussels allocated almost $95 million to Armenia’s southern Syunik region, which was adversely affected by the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war.

According to the EU assistance program, the priority issues in Syunik are housing, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, education, healthcare, renewable energy, and support to local small and medium sized businesses

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