2008-10-08 | News
International Day for Disaster Reduction was marked in Ararat region

Today Mr. Dirk Boberg, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative accompanied by members of the UN Disaster Management Working Group (DPI, WHO, DSS) attended a ceremony in Ditak community of Ararat region to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

Representatives of the Ministries of Emergency Situations, Territorial Administration, Armenian Rescue Service, regional and community leaders attended the ceremony. The international disaster reduction campaign for 2008-2009 focuses on making “Hospitals Safe from Disasters.”

In December 1989 the UN General Assembly designated the second Wednesday of October as International Day for Disaster Reduction, as a vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. As disaster impacts and losses continue to rise globally affecting millions of people around the world, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his message urged all partners - Governments, civil society, international financial institutions and the private sector - to step up implementation of the Hyogo Framework aimed to reduce our collective vulnerability to natural hazards.

Noting that Government of Armenia has considered disaster risk reduction as one of its priority areas, Mr. Boberg in his speech stressed “the importance of coordinating climate change adaptation with relevant disaster risk reduction measures and the need to integrate these considerations into development plans and poverty eradication programmes.”

UNDP in Armenia, together with the Rescue Service under the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Territorial Administration, is implementing a project aimed at supporting national efforts for the establishment of the disaster preparedness and risk reduction systems.

One area of joint efforts targeted local level risk management in Ararat region aimed at strengthening the preparedness capabilities of local authorities and communities. These include elaboration of disaster risk profile for Ararat region, vulnerability and capacity assessment, training of local communities and small-scale disaster mitigation projects. The project supported the clean up of a water drainage system of about 2,000 meters long in Noramarg and Ditak communities and strengthening of a 400-meter long embankment. “These activities will obviously reduce vulnerability of about 200 households and the school building in Ditak community that often suffers from seasonal floods,” said the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

As part of the ceremony, the Armenian Rescue Service organized an exhibition - “Disasters through Children’s Eyes,” which was aimed at increasing public awareness on disaster risk reduction in Ararat region. The winners of the competition were granted awards prepared jointly by UNDP and the Armenian Rescue Service.

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