A photo project about Nagorno-Karabakh's birth encouragement program

By on Jan 18th

Narine Hakobyan, 19, plays with her new born daughter at home. All photos by Anastasia Taylor-Lind.

Jenn recently shared a NY Times piece called The National Womb, which is a project that documentary photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind undertook. The focus is a "birth encouragement program" that the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh implemented in 2008: basically, the government gives cash to newlyweds each time they have a kid.

The goal of the program is to rebuild the population of the region, which was severely lowered due to a war that lasted from 1991-1994. Couples receive $780 when they get married, $260 when they have their first kid, $520 for the second, $1300 for the third, and $1820 for the fourth. As the slideshow tells you, families with six or more kids under 18 are given a house.

Maro Hakobyan feeds one of the triplets born to her son, Artak Hakobyan, and his wife Ani.

Gayane Aghajanyan breastfeeds her newborn son Rafael at Stepanakert Maternity Hospital.

Marianna Avanesyan, 24, puts on her two-year-old daughter Mane's shoes at home in Askeran, Nagorno Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a region that also suffers from high unemployment, low salaries, and a population of youth that are intent on leaving the area for opportunities elsewhere. According to VII, the four-year-old program has increased birth rates by 25.5%.

You can see more photos at the NY Times slideshow and VII The Magazine.

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About Stephanie Kaloi

I am the former editor of Offbeat Families, and owner/photographer at Stephanie Kaloi Photography in Portland, OR.