On 11-13 October 2017, the Republic of Armenia will mark the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) by hosting an International Conference “Resilience Building for Sustainable Development” in Yerevan. The participants represent state and non-governmental organisations from European, Central Asian and Balkan countries, Ukraine, Georgia, etc. and are active players in the field of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and humanitarian response (such as UN OCHA, UNICEF, UNISDR, UNDP, etc.).
The conference has a content-rich, intensive three-day agenda with several aims and objectives. The main objective is to increase political commitment and social demand for sustainable, risk-informed, disaster resilient sectoral development, aiming at a successful mainstreaming of DRR into development policies, programmes and processes. From the local viewpoint, the conference aims to enhance the localisation of the Sendai Framework of DRR (SFDRR), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the DRM National Strategy of Armenia. And finally, Armenia offers a platform for regional dialogue, thus making a contribution to global knowledge exchange and cooperation in the field of DRR. The conference is an excellent opportunity for all participants across the region to present their national policies, best practices and identified shortcomings, as well as to discuss and obtain important experiences from the region.
Why in Armenia and what has been done so far in DRR?
Armenia has a well-functioning National Platform for DRR that was established in 2010. This includes a coordination mechanism to enhance multi-stakeholder collaboration and coordination for the sustainability of DRR activities through a consultative and participatory process in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Sendai Framework of DRR. Based on these, Armenia adopted its DRM National Strategy in March 2017. The document has been widely circulated during various professional capacity building initiatives to strengthen the relevant policy making, public administration and rapid response preparedness capacities. In addition, the Strategy is to help improve school safety, incorporate DRR in education, modernise integrated early warning systems, etc. Armenia has made considerable achievements, which will also serve as a good baseline for detailed collaboration.
Armenian Caritas and DRR
Armenian Caritas is one of the main players in the field of DRR and emergency response in Armenia. It is an active member of the National DRR Platform and the Diaster Management Country Team (DMCT), contributing to the shared and coordinated activities. In 2016, Armenian Caritas, in collaboration with Oxfam Armenia, developed its Strategy and Action Plan of Disaster Risk Management in order to be more prepared for disasters and responsive at the grass-root level.
On the project level, Armenian Caritas is implementing community-based DRR projects that aim to raise public awareness and decrease vulnerability at community level. Armenian Caritas is also implementing projects that are aimed at combining DRR education elements with inclusive education, paying attention to mainstreaming DRR into disability care projects.