French Ambassador meets with mothers & babies from Nagorno Karabakh
July 15, 2021 – The French Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, M. Jonathan Lacôte and his associates, were welcomed to the Hrazdan Day-Care Centre to see the work being carried out within the project "Supporting urgent food security, nutrition, hygiene and health needs of spontaneous arrivals and vulnerable host communities in Armenia", and as part of which were established baby-friendly spaces for breastfeeding mothers who have been displaced during the recent conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. This project is funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and implemented by Action Against Hunger and local NGO Mission Armenia. There also to welcome the French delegation were the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Ms. Tatevik Stepanyan and the Mayor of Hrazdan, Mr. Sevak Mikaelyan. Mr. Stepanyan stressed the importance of this project for the spontaneous arrivals and in particular the value of establishing spaces for mothers.Hrazdan Day-Care Centre is one of four centres run by Mission Armenia (the others being located in Masis City in Ararat, Avan-Arinji and Nor-Nork in Yerevan) where such baby-friendly spaces have been established under the same project and where mothers, caregivers, and pregnant and lactating women can receive sensitization/counselling sessions on breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding practices and receive both group and one-to-one psychosocial support.
During the visit Ambassador Lacôte, Deputy Minister Stepanyan and Mayor Mikaelyan toured the centre and the Baby-friendly Spaces for Breastfeeding and received briefings on the implementation of the project by the implementing partners Mission Armenia and Action Against Hunger. Ambassador Lacôte had the opportunity to meet and speak in person with mothers and children who attended the centre who shared their stories and experiences and explained how important the support was to them and their children.The Ambassador was also present at the distribution of food packages, as the provision of urgent food assistance to around 800 displaced households is another important component of the project. There was also a distribution of clothing items delivered by the Aznavour Foundation, that was part of the humanitarian aid received from the French government in March.At the end of the visit, the Ambassador and other guests listened to a live performance by local musicians and were presented with some handmade souvenirs – an eco-bag sewn by elderly people attending the Day-Care centre and decorated by the women attending the “Baby Friendly Space for Breastfeeding”.