To implement the Program, the World Bank team will work closely with relevant ministries to implement five components: institutional strengthening, risk identification, risk reduction, disaster prepared-ness and financial protection.
Effective cooperation among government agencies in Armenia is critical for success in disaster risk reduction efforts. The Program will support adjusting Armenia’s existing National Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction to align with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted in March 2015, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Program will also draft a plan for its implementation through workshops and meetings with relevant stakeholder groups and partners.
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 compiling existing disaster risk information and improving open platform for geospatial data on disaster risks that will be shared with various ministries, government agencies, etc. Additionally, the Program will support conducting a national seismic hazard assessment and developing a new seismic zoning map, which will in-form potential improvements to construction norms.
Disaster risk information can advise various development strategies, plans and projects that can reduce risks. This may be done through anticipatory action that seeks to avoid the creation of new risks by, for example, considering disaster risks in urban master plans or improving building practices, and through investment to address existing risk, such as the retrofitting of critical facilities infrastructure. Armenian construction norms were updated in 1994 and it is a critical task to review them based on new seismic hazard information. Municipalities will bene-fit from the Program’s support through the incorporation of disaster risk information in their development plans.
The Program with the support from the German Government will also support the implementation of the National Safe Schools Program to make schools more resilient to the impact of adverse natural exposures, as well as facilitate knowledge exchange on the topic of school safety with other countries.
Adequate preparedness is essential as risks can never be completely eliminated or reduced. National emergency preparedness and response capacity has been improving in Armenia. Additional improvements at the local level can further help protect livelihoods and accelerate recovery from disasters. The World Bank’s experience in other countries, such as Turkey and Kyrgyz Republic, will contribute to improvements on this topic.
Financial protection aims at increasing financial capacity and preparedness, while protecting fiscal balance, to help reduce the economic burden of disasters on the government, businesses and households. The Program will support the government by carrying out an assessment to better under-stand the fiscal impacts of disasters and to provide the government with analysis and policy options for disaster risk financing and insurance using the world’s best practices.
The Program was made possible with the financial support of the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries (through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)) and other donors. It will also work in close cooperation with other development partners, such as UN agencies, International Financial Institutions, bilateral agencies, and civil society organizations working in Armenia.
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