On 18 February, in“Ani Plaza” hotel Armenian Red Cross Society organized a workshop by the theme of “Legal component reinforcement for Urban DRR Project”.
Representatives of Yerevan Mayor's Office, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, National Platform of DRR Fund, UNICEF Country Office, Oxfam Armenia, UNDP,Save the Children, World Vision, Japan International Cooperation Agency participated in the event.
Opening the meeting, Edmon Azaryan, Head of ARCS Disaster Management and Population Movement Department presented the agenda; referred to "DRR in urban communities" project, which legal component reinforcement was of the meeting topic.
Tessa Kelly, Chief Specialist of RC/RC International Federation Legal issues, welcomed the participants, mentioning.
“It's a great pleasure to visit Armenia once again in the frames of this project. I think,all the participants will have significant contribution in this workshop. In my opinion, involving so many specialists with different backgrounds, in the activities of DRR at the urban environment is one of the achievements of this project”.
In the first part of the meeting, Gurgen Boshyan, DRR Expert, presented the process of “Legal component reinforcement for Urban DRR Project” research, which was followed by the presentation of key findings and recommendations report of Samvel Araqelyan, Legal Expert.
After the presentations, more than forty participants were divided into three groups to discuss the gaps in the existing legislation and its application in the field of the largest obstacles in early warning systems, in reducing the vulnerability of buildings and DRR education sector.
Urban Disaster Risk Reduction
The growing worldwide tendency of urbanization and climate change as well as weak/limited capacities and infrastructures of cities to adapt to rapid growth and quick unplanned developments makes them more disaster prone and risky. Thus, it is becoming of priority importance for Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, as local players, to be engaged with Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in urban context.
Started from February 2014, the Armenian Red Cross Society, with financial support of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has started Urban DRR Project. The aim of the Project is to respond to the growing concerns over urban disaster risk and support building the capacities of the National Society for effective urban risk reduction and management.
Within the framework of the Project, Urban DRR study has been conducted, where hazards typical to urban communities, peculiarities of urban and rural communities in the context of DRR have been identified.
This study for defining urban community definition and differences between urban and rural communities in terms of vulnerabilities, hazards, problems and structures and etc helped to clearly define the context of Yerevan, risky areas and main hazards, as well as supported the selection of targeted administrative division in Yerevan.
Based on the results of the study and developed risk map practical testing of VCA tool were carried out in Ajapnyak Community, Yerevan.
In September 2014, in the frames of Urban DRR projects, Armenian Red Cross Society volunteers distributed International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Key Messages in Ajapnyak Community.
Due to the awareness materials, developed by IFRC to raise awareness of Disaster Risk Reduction, community members will get acquainted with the principles of disaster prevention, as well as will learn how to behave during disasters. 5200 awareness material have been distributed.