Updated by Artiom Sici on 29.03.2017
Social protection is one of the priorities of the state policy of the Republic of Armenia. The objective of the state policy for social protection is to expand the capabilities of the population to cope with certain risks or meet certain needs. It is implemented through very concrete and targeted policies for social assistance, social security and insurance, which aim to reduce poverty, mitigate inequality, ensure decent old-age, expand the opportunities of vulnerable groups of the population and provide certain social guarantees to them, as well as improving the demographic situation.
In order to achieve these objectives, public expenditures on social protection increased during 2008-2012. It comprised about 26 per cent of state budget expenditure in 2008-2011 and in 2012 it increased to around one third: 29 percent. The major part of public expenditure on social protection is being allocated to pensions. In 2008-2011, it comprised 72-73 percent of state budget expenditure on social protection (source: Armenia development strategy 2012-2025, Government of Armenia).
The social protection system of Armenia has essentially improved and plays an important role in providing social support to the population and alleviating extreme poverty. Social assistance is a key tool to protect those who do not benefit from opportunities created by economic growth in the short or medium term. However, reforms in the social assistance policy are critical in order to achieve sustainable results by establishing not only a large scale cash social assistance system but also active social assistance programmes that ensure social inclusion. Promoting participation in the labour market, for example, will enable fighting poverty and exclusion while providing satisfaction of the basic needs of vulnerable families and it will also contribute towards reducing poverty. The social security system in Armenia covers pensions, benefits for workers and their dependents in the case of work-related accidents, disability benefits, sickness and maternity benefits, and family allowances.
It is worth mentioning that the Armenian social security system covers the entire population against all basic social risks under the ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention (No. 102).