On 28 June, the event marking the launch of the program “Reduction of disaster risks for raising the stability of vulnerable communities and institutions in South Caucasus” was held at the Ministry of Emergency Situations, chaired by representative of European Commission Ketevan Lomsadze and Director of ARNAP Fund M. Poghosyan. The event was also attended by representatives of partner organizations and agencies implementing the program.
The program is funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), under Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) DIPECHO and implemented in cooperation with Armenian Red Cross Society, the UN Children's Fund, UNDP, OXFAM Armenian Office and “Save the Children” organizations.
The program will be implemented in close cooperation with the Ministries of Emergency Situations, Education and Science, Territorial Administration and Development of the RA, ARNAP Fund, regional and community organizations, educational institutions, as well as school children and families of communities.
Welcoming the guests on his own behalf and on behalf of the Minister of ES of RA A. Yeritsyan, ES Deputy Minister H. Hakobyan noted, that only a few months ago, in the same hall, the partner organizations have summed up the 3rd phase of the program DIPECHO, and as a result, the achievements of the program implementers were highly appreciated. The Deputy Minister stressed, that special attention deserves the form of cooperation, that has been established between the partner organizations.
- Our joint efforts towards disaster risk management will be continued and will be further expanded. Programs implemented by DIPECHO partners fully express the approaches of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, correspond to the priorities of the national strategy for DRR and completely consistent with the strategy of the Ministry of ES. Therefore, we will invest our full potential to promote the effective implementation. It’s pleasant to note, that this phase of the project will also connect us to the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development and the UN Development Program. This means, that we can expect even greater results in terms of disaster management and prevention, - concluded H. Hakobyan.
Deputy Minister of Education and Science M. Mkrtchyan noted, that DIPECHO 4 project’s vision and guarantee of success are the significant achievements recorded during the previous phases.
Hoa-Binh Adjemian, the Head of the Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation in Armenia, stressed, that the EU is providing support to many projects in Armenia, but this one stands out for its importance, as it focuses on the educational institutions.
Edmon Azaryan, ARCS Head of Disaster Management and Population Movement Department presented achievements of previous 3 phases and future actions planned for DIPECHO 4.
DIPECHO 4 aims at increasing resilience and reducing the vulnerability of communities and local institutions in areas prone to natural and man-made disasters. The project will be implemented in Shirak, Lori, Aragatsotn, Gegharquniq, Tavush, Armavir, Syunik regions and Yerevan, with a special emphasis on children, women and persons with disabilities. It also aims to boost DRR capacities of schools and preschool institutions including disaster management and risk reduction.
Implementing extensive activities, the program will foster the cooperation between the leading organizations working in the field of DRR, state agencies, the National Platform for DRR and other national and regional organizations of the South Caucasus.
Note, that since 2010, in the framework of DIPECHO program, significant efforts were made to reduce the vulnerability of inclusive and special schools, kindergartens and childcare centers.
Support was provided to the target communities to increase their resilience, the ability to save lives and livelihoods, as well as mitigate the effects of disasters and climate change. Evacuation, fire protection, DRR trainings and other educational events were carried out in community schools.