Tag Archives: European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Department (DG ECHO)

On 20 February the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski participated in the Community Resilience Forum in Yerevan, along with regional and community government representatives and development programme officers. Topics covered during the forum included how to strengthen community resilience; the results of the incorporation of disaster risk management into socio-economic development strategies and programmes; the importance of utilising new technologies.
The forum was organised as part of the “Institutionalisation, replication and dissemination of Disaster Risk Reduction interventions in the South Caucasus of the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Department” project. This project is funded by the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Department (DG ECHO). The European Union’s regional Disaster Preparedness Programme (DIPECHO) aims to make communities in areas prone to natural hazards less vulnerable, and to boost their resilience to natural and man-made hazards. The total DIPECHO funding in the South Caucasus since 2010 is over €10.4 million. In the present funding cycle (DIPECHO V, 2017-2018), the total funding for the Southern Caucasus (Armenia and Georgia) is €945,705 (EU contribution of €800,000) with approximately €520,000 for Armenia through two projects. Current DIPECHO partners in the South Caucasus are: UNDP, UNICEF, Save the Children, Danish Red Cross (implemented through Armenian and Georgian Red Cross societies), Oxfam, and Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB).

ARS_9312Ambassador Świtalski thanked all the partners for their active engagement: ‘The EU is proud to support such initiatives and we do it in the conviction that our engagement in disaster risk reduction is both important and necessary. Disaster risk reduction in this region is not an abstract topic – this year we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the tragic Spitak earthquake. Since then, the risks in the region have increased. We are confronted, for example, by climate change, pollution, and other factors which contribute to these regional environmental risks. So, for the EU, increasing disaster risk reduction capacities in third countries is very important. We are now in the fifth phase of DIPECO; I am very glad that there are dedicated projects for Armenia in this phase. Now we are in the process of discussing with the Armenian Government the inclusion of risk reduction preparation in our bilateral programmes, in particular in our annual Action Plan 2018′.

ARS_9288Davit Tonoyan, Armenia’s Minister of Emergency Situations, wished for fruitful discussion at the forum: ‘All potential actors should unite in their efforts and coordinate on common issues in disaster risk reduction. We must find more effective ways to cooperate and find mutual assistance mechanisms. Disaster risk management guidance at the local level has already been approved to identify hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities in communities, using their own finances. The inclusion of these activities in community development programmes is crucial for sustainable development and resilience. In this context, the allocation of financial resources, including from the community budget, is of great importance’.