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World Bank Launches National Disaster Risk Management Program

19.01.2016

The presentation of the National Disaster Risk Management Program of the World Bank (WB) was held in Yerevan, on January 19.

The program is aimed at supporting the Government of Armenia to further advance disaster resilience by improving disaster risk information, enhancing disaster risk reduction, strengthening disaster preparedness and improving understanding of fiscal disaster risks and risk financing options.

The event was attended by World Bank’s Country Manager for Armenia Laura Bailey, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Armenia Eiji Taguchi, Deputy Minister of Urban Development Armen Ghularyan, RS Deputy Director, r/s Major-General Nikolay Grigoryan, as well as representatives of the RA Government, Yerevan Municipality, other donor and partner organizations.

Welcoming the participants, ARNAP Fund Director Movses Poghosyan stressed, that Armenia is moving forward with steady steps in the field of disaster risk management and highlighted the implementation of this program.

Disaster Risk Management specialist, Project Team representative Ko Takeuchi noted, that the Japanese Government and the World Bank will allocate 1.75 million US dollars for the project’s implementation:
- Almost the same risk management system and traditions operate both in Armenia and in Japan. This means, that we learn lessons from the bitter experiences of the past and develop not only response, but also disaster risk reduction skills. We expect, that cooperation with stakeholders will yield positive outcomes, -noted Ko Takeuchi.

Expressing gratitude to the Governments of Armenia and Japan, WB Yerevan Office Manager Laura E. Bailey hoped, that the program will greatly contribute to disaster risk reduction in Armenia:
-Apart from earthquakes, Armenia also faces the threat of other major disasters, such as droughts, hailstorms, landslides and floods, that pose serious danger. In this regard, Armenia should pay serious attention to disaster risk management. WB launches National Disaster Risk Management Program, to develop the capacity of Armenia in this area, at the national, local and community level,- concluded Laura Bailey.

Ambassador of Japan E. Taguchi stressed the common features of Armenia and Japan in the struggle against disasters, noting, that the friendly relations have been established between the two countries, and the Japanese government will continue to support Armenia in the creation of disaster-resistant country. National Coordinator of Sendai Framework for Action Nikolay Grigoryan expressing gratitude to Government of Japan and WB for the initiative of implementing such project, noted:
-We all still remember the assistance provided to Armenia by Japan, presenting 28 fire-rescue vehicles. Japan is an exemplary country in the fight against natural disasters. After the tsunami in 2011, Japan proved the world, that if someone has willingness to reduce disaster risks and confront them, he can do wonders. It becomes possible due to the higher public consciousness, -noted N. Grigoryan.

The implementation of the program was made possible by Japan and WB Program for “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries” and Disaster Management and Technical Assistance Center of Tokyo. In this context, it will also work in close cooperation with the relevant ministries, representatives of UN agencies, international financial institutions and civil society organizations. The program will support adjusting Armenia’s existing National Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction to align with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as the UN Sustainable Development goals.

Understanding hazards, exposure and vulnerability is the first step towards managing disaster risk. Assessment and quantification of risks and anticipating the potential impacts of natural hazards can help governments make informed decisions to be better prepared. The Program will support conducting a national seismic hazard assessment and developing a new seismic zoning map, which will inform improvements to construction norms.

National Disaster Risk Management Program of the World Bank (WB) will be implemented before the end of 2017. 

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