On October 19, 2015 the “Disaster Risk Reduction in Armenia” programme (DIPECHO Phase III) close out event was held at the premises of the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations.
The programme was aimed at increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability of children and communities in areas prone to natural hazards. It was funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department within the framework of Disaster Preparedness Programme (DIPECHO), phase III. The programme was implemented by Save the Children, the Armenian Red Cross Society, OXFAM Armenia, UNICEF and UNISDR in collaboration with the Ministries of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, Education and Science, and Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia and the Disaster Risk Reduction National Platform.
Launched in May 2014, the DIPECHO III in Armenia targeted the provinces of Shirak, Lori, Aragatsotn, Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor, Tavush, and Yerevan, combining community-based activities with policy development work to develop and include disaster management and risk reduction in education and national security planning. Relevant stakeholders from central and local government were engaged in programme implementation to ensure sustainability of programme interventions.
The Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations of Armenia Haykaram Mkhitaryan stated: “We highly appreciate this programme, it is the result of great cooperation. We have successfully implemented this programme because all the work was undertaken according to effective planning.”
The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Switalski, congratulated all the partners on the successful implementation of the programme: “Armenia was one of the first countries where the European Commission started their humanitarian aid and civil protection programme. The programme that we are concluding today is the continuation of these first efforts. I am very happy to see that the authorities of Armenia find it successful.”
During the event, representatives of the RA Government, international and local organizations and the programme stakeholders were present. Greetings and speeches addressed its various aspects and results. The event was enriched by different lively presentations organized by the DIPECHO III partners. Upon the initiative of Save the Children, pupils of Yerevan # 2 Special School for Children with Mental Disorders presented a small play entitled “The Young Firemen”, that was devoted to the rules of right behavior during fire emergencies. Meanwhile, the photo exhibition billboards were depicting the different programme activities.
Within the framework of DIPECHO III, Save the Children worked to reflect the needs and rights of the most vulnerable children (including children with special needs) in disaster risk reduction policy; build the capacity of children, schools and kindergartens to better prepare for, mitigate and respond to disasters; and tackle issues related to disaster risk reduction in the context of the national educational system.
Save the Children targeted children with and without disabilities in 20 inclusive schools, 21 kindergartens and 21 special schools and care institutions in Yerevan and Lori, Shirak, Gegharkunik and Aragatsotn provinces. Overall, 18,500 children and 3,500 teachers/caregivers directly benefitted from the programme.