Within the framework of Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Project II (IDRR II), on April 28 Save the Children organized an earthquake evacuation drill at Kindergarten #4 in Gavar town of Gegharkunik province. The aim of the drill was to prepare children and the staff to correctly behave during such emergencies.
Head of EU Delegation to Armenia Ambassador Traian Hristea, Lithuanian Ambassador to Armenia Erikas Petrikas and Head of Cooperation Section of EU Delegation Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Save the Children Armenia Country Director Arsen Stepanyan, representatives of province and town authorities and the province rescue service were present at earthquake evacuation drill.
Ambassador Traian Hristea welcomed the initiative, saying: “We do believe that it is an important approach to the safety of kids that could be exposed to the disasters. It is important that they are prepared and know what to do in this kind of difficult circumstances. I believe this experience should be rolled over to the other kindergartens to make sure that they are also prepared to face this kind of challenge should the situation occur.”
Disaster risk reduction is one of Save the Children’s main areas of operation. It aims to increase the resilience of the most vulnerable children, their families, caregivers and communities towards disasters.
Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Project II (IDRR II) is a regional initiative contributing to that aim. It is funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department within the framework of Disaster Preparedness Programme, phase III.
The project is being implemented from May 2014 till July 2015 in Armenia and Georgia, building upon the success of the previous IDRR project implemented in 2012-2013.
Within the framework of the project, activities are being undertaken 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 in hazard prone areas 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.
In Armenia, the action targets 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 marzes. Overall, 18,500 children with and without disabilities and 3,500 teachers/caregivers will directly benefit from the project.
The project cooperates with the Disaster Risk Reduction National Platform, RA Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, regional authorities, local self-government bodies and schools. The project’s partners are UNICEF, OXFAM and the Armenian Red Cross Society.