Armenia

Disaster Profile

Armenia lies in one of the most seismically active regions of the world. A high degree of urbanization (64%) concentrates disaster (particularly seismic) risks in cities. Meteorological disasters have become more frequent and intense in the last few decades, and include floods, mudslides, and debris flows. Floods, mudslides, and debris flows threaten half of the country’s territory, mainly in medium-altitude mountainous areas, where they typically occur once every three to ten years. Climate change is expected to amplify the frequency and intensity of meteorological hazards in Armenia. The risk of technological disasters is also significant.  There are around 26 hazardous chemical sites in Armenia that use amonium, chlorine, chloric acid, nitric acid, etc.

CADRI Support to Armenia

In 2010, the Government of Armenia, the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MoES) and UNDP Armenia, with support from UNDP’s Capacity Development Group and Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI), designed and facilitated a Capacity Self-Assessment of the National Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacity in Armenia. This process was an innovative exercise for number of reasons:

  1. the UNDP Capacity Development Methodology was adapted for DRR and was operationalized for the first time for a self-assessment
  2. the assessment process established a measurable baseline of DRR capacity in Armenia
  3. it directly engaged key national organizations involved in DRR and was validated with a wide range of DRR stakeholders, at a national and local levels.

The capacity development process entailed the development and operationalization of a capacity assessment tool based on the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) actions 1-5 to facilitate self-assessment, facilitated extensive stakeholder consultations and helped MoES and other national partners to broaden the understanding and application of the HFA. The DRR capacity development process in Armenia helped key government stakeholders actively participate to develop a shared vision for an effective DRR system for the country.

Based on the results of the DRR capacity development process, an Action Plan for capacity development has been recommended to strengthen the DRR system in Armenia. The Action Plan focuses on three capacity areas:

  1. core organizational capacities
  2. technical capacities
  3. community engagement and cooperation.

The strategic actions include:

  1. devising a national strategy for DRR which includes a shift towards more effective engagement of communities and schools
  2. establishing a new system wide monitoring and evaluation system to support coordination and information management contributing to an  improvement in compliance
  3. setting up a National Disaster Observatory to unify databases for DRR institutions.